Morning at the beach in Waikiki. The beach, the beach! I was craving spending time at the beach with a tremendously forceful, burning intensity that impressed even me. The morning was perfect in every way. The sun was ruling in a clear blue sky and the temperature touching my skin was just right. We walked the couple of blocks from the hotel to the beach, through the streets of this neat and interesting part of Awahu.
The full glory of the beach embraced me completely. My feet felt gently warm as I walked on the sand. The air was full of the perfume of the sea, and I felt as if its singing waves were just for me alone. No way was I going to refuse the invitation to go into the water.
The sun, the sky and the ocean took me in completely, and I was giddy with joy. The beach and me were the entire universe that morning, there was nothing else. I felt as if we were the whole of creation. I was a child again, five years of age maybe, and I had entered the realm where there was no personal war, no fear or pain.
As I sat in the water facing the great ocean and digging around for its treasures, I wondered if I could get up, start walking and keep walking until I became a permanent part of this universe. I fancied that, if I did this, I would stay forever in this perfect world, where there was nothing but beauty and my greatly intense emotions of being alive and consumed with joy. Of course, the wise old woman in me knew perfectly well that this was silly. Then I thought with sadness about a Puerto Rican poet, Julia De Burgos, who walked into the ocean to end her life. Funny, she walked to let the ocean swallow her because of her great agony, because life had lost its brightness for her, and she had nothing left in her soul but grief and despair. And here I was, thinking about walking into the sea to perpetuate the emotions that my body could barely contain.
Living in New York for so many years has turned me into an autum bird, feeling at my best when temperatures are cool or gently warm and the air is crisp and clear. But I was not always this way. I was born in Puerto Rico, into the perfection of nature, and I became a child of the trees, the plants and the flowers, no matter where they were. My mother, however, was a child of the ocean through and through. That was the place where she felt at home, and she was, of course, being a true daughter of Neptune. Her wishes always were to be cremated and taken to her beloved ocean, where she could become a part of it, and it a part of her, forever.
I know now that I have become a daughter of Neptune as well. I almost never visit the sea, and I guess that, deep in my soul, I miss it terribly because, if and when I have a chance to go there, the fire of my emotions burns me as it did that morning, at Neptune’s home in Waikiki.