Kona, on the Big Island. A weekend with an uncle and aunt I hadn't yet gotten to know.
My uncle Jon and I swam out a good distance, in line with a sweet little sailboat.
He told me that my grandmother, his mother, had swam that far when she was visiting a month earlier. She'd just finished rigorous and unkind chemo, and now the doctors were finally letting her resilient body rest and nurture itself. She floated out there in the salty Pacific. The thing about the ocean is, that it heals. "You want to go farther, don't you? Okay, how bout to that rock?" So we swam farther. The ocean so strong, her push and pull, a sentient dance. "Farther? Okay, okay.. how bout to that rock." And now tired, I let the ocean hold me and sun soak in. I dove under. He dove under. We both came up and paused. And back under. "Did you hear that?" And to our right, not all too far out, whales breaching.
Realizing. With bated wonder, we dove back under.