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The sun is just rising. I am still asleep with my infant son in the pack ’n play at the foot of the bed. She comes in to wake me. It is my idea.

We leave the sleeping household behind and drive down the Kohala coastline excited with anticipation as we look for them. The Pacific Ocean is flat this morning, like blown glass that has not yet set.

My mother sits in front in the sea kayak. I follow behind. She dips her paddle in the blue water, a silent scoop. I follow her lead, each paddle stroke right then left as the water below us changes from aqua to azure to indigo.

I see a tension in her shoulders, perhaps a lingering tightness from years of parenting and hard work. I check my own shoulders. I too have tightness, an earned honor of becoming a parent myself. The tightness begins to loosen with each stroke.

Whooshaaa! They are here! We stop silently awaiting their presence. It is a mother and a baby humpback swimming together in perfect rhythm, mother leading and baby following. They surface and  then dive with deep, ojai breaths. We came to see them, the magic and wonderment of them. They came to see us, circling in curiosity. I am her baby. I tell her I love her from the back of the kayak.



Cindy spent most of her childhood in Squaw Valley, and attended local schools, graduating from North Tahoe High School in 1987. She skied on the high school Nordic team, and received a ski scholarship to the College of Idaho, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. Cindy has a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Cully, and two boys, ages 4 and 1.



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January 10, 2019