Free to Be

Two days ago my new friend Sherry and I went kayaking through water that glistened like a newly washed window.

Two women paddling out into deep water, backdropped by mangrove islands, traversing a sea full of creatures bigger than our boats. My kayak was seventeen foot and yellow, Sherry's thirteen and blue. When speeding boats shot by us, we settled our paddles and waited for the wake to smooth out again. We both agreed it was a jewel of an evening as we recalled our earlier conversation about women's constricted lives in the early 1900s.

Inhaling the salt air, we paddled on as a pelican soared low.

Then we spotted her: a graceful lone dolphin surfacing and disappearing not far from shore. We stopped our forward movement to watch. She circled, remaining in the same area where a man was fishing from a small boat.

"She's staying in the same spot." Sherry said. "I hope she's not injured."

"She'll leave eventually."

And she did. Smiling, we raised our paddles and slid through the Pass.

"So," I asked Sherry, "do you want to stop at Bert's?"

We laughed.

No, it wasn't Alaska. It wasn't the wilderness. It was the waters of the funky fishing village of Matlacha and we were out without our cellphones, detached from technology and our "land" lives, appreciating the fact we were alive and women free to be.


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