A Place of Stillness

I leave the condo early in the morning
eager to get to the beach
before others disturb the see-through water.
I walk quickly on the asphalt path
carrying a beach bag stuffed
with my towel, snorkeling gear,
torso board, and underwater camera.
Palm trees flank me heavy with
their bunches of orange fruit
and alongside me on the grass
cattle egret move jerkily.
The soft blue sky is beautiful
as is this morning’s stillness
except for the cooing doves
and the distant sound of a mower
which fades as I approach the beach
and see that I am alone on this
sheltered space on the North Shore of Oahu
my place to be, to take my pictures
of Nature’s presents, gifts I cannot
describe but try to capture on film
and on the lens of my mind
the embrace of the gentle waters
welcoming me to their wonderland.

Though I walk in gingerly
sometimes with my flippers
but always with my beach shoes
aware of my aloneness
defying the unwritten rule
not to snorkel without another
I know how far I can go
to reach the underwater complex
where the fish reside
and where I can remain afloat
bouncing gently, watching, waiting
for the perfect moment to take
their pictures, to capture their
bold yellows, deep blues, golden stripes
silver schools of fleeting fish
swimming beneath and around me
in this place of stillness where I stay
suspended on Turtle Bay.

By Florence Ames

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