July 19, 2010
Beach about 80 kms north of Nha Trang, Vietnam
"It was the emeralds and turquoise blues that drew me in, that and the honey-colored sand. It's all so vibrant that the colors fight to get my attention. In the distance, a faded mountain, sandy summits with brown-green peaks. Then nothing but a line of sea. littered with boats. The boats seem meticulously placed, as if pin-dropped like the 2-man vessel on the board game, Battleship. A cool summer breeze hits my face along with a hot musty draft, breathing it all in, slowly.
As I sat eating lunch, I realized what drew me in, the colors, the wind, the honey-sand and blue-white waves. My mother was calling me to celebrate her 43rd birthday with her. It sounds almost dumb even while writing it, but part of me likes to believe that somehow, somewhere my mom is able to invite me to experience things. Call to my heart and hope I respond with gratitude. I was thinking about things we'd do for my mom's birthdays. We loved going out to eat as a family. I remember going to Macaroni Grill or Red Robin with her. I loved sitting there with her, watching her converse, always smiling, watching her turquoise-blue eyes flicker with the hanging lights. We'd hum and haw and talk about good times. I absolutely adored my mother and now she's not here anymore. Currently, I find myself wandering on a bicycle, the reason not necessary intentional, but maybe I'm trying to find my way back to someplace that will give it all meaning. Maybe this emerald and turquoise blue sea is just a view, or maybe she's been here all along. Among the humble hosts and selfless gratitude that have lead me safely on this path, or among the breathtaking views and hidden discoveries. And her eyes shine on mine from the sea. Those honey-sand mountains her flesh, the brown of the distant mountains, her hair. Maybe I'm supposed to listen to her more, let her whisper her stories into my ear, like the ones she whispered to me as a child to send me off to sleep, the stories that are becoming my own. Follow her guidance, so I don't get lost. Listen and i will answer the best way I know how. Be patient and I will find a way back to her. I don't have a candle for you or a birthday cake, but I have the sea breeze and the color of your eyes right in front of me. Happy Birthday Mom!"