The bay stretches forever. Usually the water is still, disturbed only by the pelicans landing to pass their day gliding along the surface. The dark wooden poles of the oyster leases stretch through the tranquility.
Whenever I pass here on my way to work, I wonder yet again: what am I doing? Why am I not out in the sun, enjoying the play of sunlight on the water?
Even on a gloomy day, as the dark clouds roll in, or the rain sweeps across the water, the bay still beckons. Should I have time I pull over and stare over the water for a while. Aside from the peak hour cars zooming past me, there is usually no one else around. Perhaps a jogger, sometimes an elderly couple having a stroll.
This morning I pulled over, and spent a few minutes simply watching. Cars streamed along the road behind me, rushing not to be a few minutes late. How many actually saw the view. A sea plane took off as I sat there, skimming along the water before soaring into a 1950s movie. The few fisherman have the right idea, pottering around in their tinnies. As they do the world over, although the boats might vary. Sometimes they return with a boatload of fish, at other times none at all. Depends on how they’re biting. Meanwhile too many sailboats sit idly on the water, their wires twanging as their owners are, like me, elsewhere.
Later that day I got a text from my daughter. She and my husband had spent the morning walking along the beach, joined by some whales who took a break from their migration to frolic in the bay. There was an old whaling station near where I grew up; now, each year, more and more humpbacks pass by our shores.
Just why do we work? The answers are numerous, and obvious, but as I drive past the sparkling water of a morning, I can’t help thinking I have my priorities all wrong.
Now, however, the times are a changing. Next week is my last shift before redundancy kicks in. I have one daughter on a gap year, another planning hers for next year; time for me to have a few gap months at least, before reality and mortgages raise their persistent heads. I plan a week of just sleeping. Then time to reassess, and enjoy the beauties of the morning drive, the birds chasing one another through the trees, the sound of rain dancing across my roof.