We walked north on the beach until we could go no further.
The north end of the beach in front of the hotel ends with an outcropping of rocks that protrude into the ocean for a hundred yards. Two hundred yards? I don't know. My senses seem to have dwindled over the years or are lost entirely at times.
We climbed up the highest rock and sat, talking about the time we braved the waves and rocks closer to the shore to get to another private beach farther north. This time there was a sign saying not to attempt such a crossing.
Looking down from our perch it occurred to me that we could just jump off the cliff into the sea and swim to the private beach. Probably would be easier.
Eleanor knew I was thinking about it. She pointed out a big rock just below the surface. Hmm. Not there. A little farther out. The cliff is a little lower. Hmm. Water looks dark and deep. Look, we could dive straight out, not down, we don't want to hit any rocks. Then we go around that bed of kelp and straight to the shore.
Will you follow me if I go?
Huh. OK. Well, it was high but not like the cliffs of Alcapulco or anything. I decided to go for it. I grabbed my shades in my hands so I wouldn't lose them, and dove.
The water felt so good. Eleanor quickly followed me, laughing and hurling herself with abandon into the great sea.
Swimming to the shore I was seized by an urge to cough, and was surprised that I coughed out a little blood, something I have never done before. I told Eleanor I had bit my tongue, because she noticed.
I googled the possible reasons this might have happened when we got back to the hotel. Perhaps high blood pressure, too much advil, ulcer, who knows
I'll see a doctor Tuesday. I don't think it is serious, so don't worry.
Later that evening we went to the fire pit in front of the hotel and made s'mores. I layed on the grass, looked up at the stars and the full moon, and listened to the waves while Eleanor chased this little dog around and around and around.
I felt like Mimi in La Boheme. I felt like Satine in Moulin Rouge.
I thought of all the lives I had touched. How I was nearer to the last chapter of my book than the first.
I can still see the little pools of blood dissipating into the ocean, I can still hear the laughter of my daughter, and see her strong, young legs effortlessly churning as we swam together to places few others have gone.