As the moon rose tonight, I found myself floating in the Philippine sea off the coast of Luzon Island near “Charlie’s Point” in Baler, Aurora. The jelly-fish were annoying as they stung my legs, stomach and arms, but the waves were calm enough to allow me to forget such trifle annoyances, so that I could enjoy the virtual silence, except for the “thunder-heads” rolling in from the East. My asawa ko (Philippine wife) came out to watch me float around, likely worried about me being out too deep, she has always had a fear of the sea, being an indigenous Ilokano Pilipina of the jungle, my little “monkey woman,” she has eaten anaconda and monkey, but worries the rip-tides will take me away. Well, perhaps she knows something I don’t, and they will someday, but tonight, they caressed the aches and pains in my muscles, and calmed my worried mind. I’m worried, because my wife is expecting my first daughter to arrive within the next five weeks, and although it will be her third child, it will be my first.
I fell in love with Merriam three months after my mom died from foot surgery complications associated with being a diabetic, having had a stroke ten years before, and some of the worst nursing and “health care” anyone could have possibly received at three different medical facilities located within the prestigious Houston, Texas Medical Center. It was the end of the first year of my third teaching location in rural Alaska. I had taught Aleuts, Cup’iks, and now Tlingits, and I was glad to be done with school for the year, to have just wrapped up my summer job – commercial fishing for sockeye salmon on a set-net permit in Egegek, Alaska, and was now on a real vacation. The old “salty dog” I worked with for the last five summers said I needed a better attitude, and I think I knew he was right, so my trip to the Philippines was supposed to help me with that. Luckily, meeting Merriam did just that, she helped me with my attitude problems from the start, and I was grateful for her feminine distractions.
I’m now on my fourth visit to the Philippines, about to have my first baby with Merriam, who I brought to America last year to live with me in Alaska, and we have decided to have our child here in the Philippines, rather than in the United States. Why, do you ask, would I want to have my child in a foreign country? Well, I will have to save that story for my next post, until then, enjoy the moonlight from the largest moon you will see for quite some time to come, and know there are others watching it with you, and loving the fact that we are alive, in love, and making magic in the waves as they crash around us in the muggy tropical air. It will be raining soon… I hope I am ready for the coming storm.