Eureka – Finding California

The Sea – part 2

A Floral Arrangement.

They don’t have it easy. Fishing for a livelihood isn’t what it used to be. Restrictions, depletion of stocks, an influx of commercially harvested fish bringing prices down, all conspire against the small-scale fisherman who simply owns a boat and knows how to use it. Not that there aren’t good days, but they just come less often and don’t pay as well as they used to. But then there is the sea. They love the sea. It feeds them, teaches them, and speaks to their souls, shaping who they are. They risk their lives upon it, but in turn it gives them life. A fair trade, they reckon.

Waiting out some bad weather on land, a few of them and their ladies, went out for a walk on the bluff, watching the sunset.  While the men stared out beyond the horizon, reading the sky and sea for a glimpse of tomorrow, the ladies busily gathered wildflowers. As they sat on the hood of their old battered truck watching the sun make it’s final bow before heading home, they all noticed the kid riding the stormy surf out front. He seemed to be part of the ocean, moving to its rhythms, matching its moods, making music of the madness. The men of the sea saw this and they knew what was happening. It had happened to them long ago. It took them back to their first calling, their first love. They were moved enough to even say it aloud to their ladies.

They watched the kid ride his last wave and make his way up the trail to the old VW he’d just inherited from his grandmother. As the kid mindlessly moved up the trail, feeling at one with his surroundings, he simply chalked it up to the weed he’d smoked earlier before going out. When he got to parking lot he saw the old burly fishermen sitting on their truck staring him down. He approached his van sheepishly. He was shocked when the ladies approached him and presented him with a huge vased bouquet of flowers. Um, OK. Not sure what to make of that, he figured he’d better not drive home in his present state of mind, so he slept on the sand that night, and drove home holding the flowers steady on the floor between his feet the next morning.  A confirmation of his calling to the sea.

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