Carpinteria #5

Someone remarked that it sounds like we?re in paradise. We are. The light is ever-changing, the sunsets are spectacular and the sea fetches up the most remarkable sights. As I was calling our friends Ralph and Vivienne about dinner the other day I saw big fins moving through the bay.

?Whales,” I hollered “I can see whales. Little whales. Um, maybe dolphins.? Yup they were about 6 of them gliding through doing a little fishing, like the guy with his rod at the water?s edge and the pelican that followed behind dive bombing for his own breakfast.

I?d been expecting whales because this is the time of their migration north. But, I’m told they are late this year since the waters are warm in the Baja and I guess they are just loafing around down there. We’ve been there and seen them up close and they are scarey huge. There were hundreds of them swimming with their babies. It?s like the middle section of Moby Dick.

Here, all I want is a glimpse of just one. But seeing these dolphins go through was almost enough. What is so affecting is the tranquility of it all. Remember Fred Neill he of ?The Echoes of my Mind? fame (Everybody?s talkin? at me/Can?t hear a word they?re sayin?) In one of his other songs he is crooning to the dolphins and sings ?Do you ever think of me??

I was out strolling the beach again and saw a dame on her cell phone (prerequisite for beach strolling) and could hear her yelling at her surfing boyfriend. A dolphin had come right up behind him.

There were dozens in this pod. The light caught them perfectly as they leapt about, arcing gracefully into the sky. It was breathtaking. I followed them all along the shore, with Fred Neal?s songs echoing around my own head. Hard not to be anthropomorphic about such a glorious creature. Cathie tells me that if you watch closely you can see the babies playing with each other, then a whistle from the mums and off they scoot to catch up. It felt like that: communal joy.

With Ralph and Vivienne as our guides we?ve been to a fantastic book store in Santa Barbara, had more great meals than I like to think about. Including a terrific one at their absolutely gorgeous house. We met the amazing architect Barton Meyers and his wife Vicki. We?re off to see their garden and a house he?s designing here and then lunch. There?s always time for lunch.

Here?s what I find odd: in the village where we stay in France, there are dozens of terrible restaurants and maybe two decent ones. Here there are dozens of really good places, so many I doubt we could eat our way through them. Spoils you, this place does.

Meantime back at home, things are finally getting started. Maybe. The wonderful Paul is rattling cages. I?m doing my best not to be depressed and weepy about it.

Just got to keep my eye out for dolphins. These are the good old days right now.

2 Comments
  • aligor

    March 1, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Oh, Marjorie, you carried me right there with you and Fred Neill and the dolphins. You are a wonderful witness. We who are still caught in the deep freeze salute you and thank you for the tale!

  • Janet Davis

    March 1, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Ah, Fred Neil! And of course Harry Nilsson, and Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman and that oh-so-sad ‘Midnight Cowboy’ bus scene!

    I just downloaded “Let the Good Times Roll” by Harry Nilsson. Is this old age melancholy for our misspent youth — via ITunes on our VISA cards??

    Dolphins and sunshine! Sounds great, Madge. Forget about Toronto. It’s -15 here.
    J

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