Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Last week my husband and I participated in an interactive dolphin program in Cozumel, Mexico. I learned a lot about dolphins, myself, and my fellow humans. The day was overcast and the wind was blowing so hard that the organizers offered to give us our money back, but none of the ten people in our group backed out. Two people in our group could not swim and spent the time clinging to the fence that was our cage in the ocean. There were other dolphin encounters that were far less strenuous and we swimmers were amazed that anyone in their right mind would shell out big bucks to cling to the cage. Go figure.

Our dolphin, Regina, kissed me, let me shake her fins and lay in my arms. Next, I swam through the choppy waves with a boogie board and waited until Regina came up behind me and pushed me (her nose on my feet) what seemed near the speed of light through the water, creating a huge wake. Lastly, I swam out in the water and Regina came under me with her belly facing upwards and let me take hold of her fins and gave me an unforgettable ride. After that, we humans went into a pen and petted a manatee. I, who once lived in Africa, was amazed that his fins and toe tails looked remarkably like an elephant’s foot as did his mouth and his hide. The trainer said the closet relative to the vegetarian Manatee is the elephant. This amazing mammal is in grave danger of extinction due to motor boat collisions.

I swam next to Marie, a seventy-eight year old, from New York. She had come to Cozumel with 11 other women; all who elected to stay behind on the cruise ship. Marie was spirited and fearless. When I jokingly commented that 78 must be the new 65, she responded, “Whatever.” It was striking that this woman was in the water, living it up, while the much younger Pakistani women sat on the dock and watched their men folk have all the fun.

The dolphin encounter was an emotional experience for most of us and a delight. As I age, I am following Maria’s example. I zip-line, swim with Dolphins - experience whatever comes my way. We can’t change the number of our age, but we can avoid being paralyzed by it. So much of aging and life is colored by one’s attitude.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I am a worker bee – the product of being raised with the protestant work ethic of my mother. I never learned how to waste time and just be, so I am practicing it this week on vacation in Florida.

My husband and I came to get some sun. My one little carry-on suitcase is filled with sun dresses and such and so far we have not seen the the sun. Yesterday, I came home from a day out with my shoes and socks soaked and my pant legs dripping wet. For lunch we stumbled on an authentic Turkish restruant and I filled my chilled belly with piping hot lentil soup and strong Turkish tea. Looking back, it was a great, nuturing experience. I also bought a tea strainer and some looseleaf green tea to sip as I sit in the condo wasting time.

It is noon and I am still in bed. I have no guilt, no feelings of anxiousness. As the rain pours down outside, I can enjoy the sound of it with the sliding door of my condo open. I have no floors to wash, beds to make, cats to feed. I have a good book and enough green tea and high quality coffee to get me through.

Relaxing is a zen art and I, so late in life, am at last learning the heart.