Just about seven thousand years ago the place in which we now live – the actual land mass itself, did not exist. It was formed, apparently, over about 1,000 years between 6,000 and 5,000 years ago, and started as a little nub, a “punta” on the western corner of what was then an Ensenada (a cove) across the bay from La Paz, B.C.S. in Mexico. The little punta grew, slowly, with the deposit of sand particles, thanks to a current from the north and west. Little by little, the punta grew into a sandbar, and as the sandbar grew toward the other end of the bay, the current was then channeled and funneled around in a clockwise motion, and began to deposit more particles on the southern side of the sandbar, thus building up what would become, over time, land. Or at least very sandy land. If you are as curious as I was about the formation of this fascinating land mass, you can read all about it here.
A few months ago I met a guy who worked for the Mexican Immigration department and because of a mistake on my part, I ended up sort of stuck with him on his 90-minute duty of monitoring traffic as is drove off the ferry from Mazatlan, which, that morning, consisted of him chatting with me for 90 minutes about all sorts of things. One of which was his memories as a child, where he and his buddies would temporarily hijack an old rowboat, or sometimes just wide floating boards, and paddle the 1/4 mile from town to the eastern beaches of El Mogote – just to have access to a place that was then, empty and wild.
With the exception of about 90 luxury homes, and ten large condominium buildings, four of which are unfinished and abandoned, as well as a pretty nice golf course winding through the sandy desert that is the wide, eastern end of El Mogote, and the various people here to inhabit, from time to time, those buildings, plus the people who run it on a daily basis, it is still empty and wild.
Thus we find ourselves in a place that can only be described as a sort of mini-paradise of daily circumstance that would be impossible to achieve in the United States, even if we were as rich as the people at places like Emerald Bay in the former county in which we lived, where houses like the one in which we live now, in the same proximity to salt water, cost far more than $10,000,000. This is because even there, as well as in places like Malibu, you cannot walk down to the beach at 8 AM and literally see NOT ONE PERSON for eleven miles of beach, with crystal clear Sea of Cortez water gently lapping the shore. I don’t care how much money you have. You just can’t.
And so we know precisely how ridiculously lucky we are, and while we may not always succeed, we have the intent, every day, to make the most of these moments that will not be able replicated anytime soon, since nothing lasts forever, and certainly not this kind of thing.
Every day something appears that is a small miracle of beauty, and since I have always wondered what it might be like to live right on the ocean, and now I know, it is every bit as amazing as living in the woods, because the sea, like the forest, is alive with wonder. For instance, one day about a month ago, there appeared just after high tide, a one-meter wide, 1+ mile long and two-inch deep ribbon of tiny slimy living things, which, upon investigation, turned out to be half-inch, young California Sea Hares. When touched, these creatures exuded a purple dye, although that didn’t stop us from shoveling hundreds of handfuls back into the water in a sort of silly, futile attempt at saving a tiny fraction of what had washed up and would end up drying out and being pulled into the sea, dead, at the next high tide. This was almost certainly a natural event, and not the result of pollution, but me not being a marine biologist, it will go down as just a simple mystery and memory.
That’s just one thing. A couple of months ago a couple of us happened to be sitting in the back patio and spotted a strange fin making its way laterally in front of us, about 20 yards off shore. Most definitely NOT a porpoise. We dragged the kayak down quickly and easily caught up with the creature. Quite the opposite of the tiny sea hares, this proved to be an 18-foot fish – twice the size our our kayak – a whale shark. It was fairly easy to keep up with, as it swam slowly around the shallow water with its impossibly wide mouth open, to trap the tiny things it eats. A spectacular event, with its constellation of white spots in its ridiculously long back, almost touching the bottom of our kayak. It seemed entirely oblivious to us – or perhaps simply unafraid. What, precisely, could hurt such a creature in twelve feet of water?
One would think that it would be an absolute no-brainer to simply stay here, indefinitely. It is by no means impossible, but not likely. Simply because there are other forces at work. Kids, in their development, and no matter what age, need social interaction with others outside the family. As broken and disappointing as is the American education system, there is something to be said for children going to a classroom filled with other kids where language is no barrier, and friendships can develop, as well as daily, social interaction of a wide variety, good and bad, can be practiced, unconsciously as a muscle would be by a simple daily walk or swim. Just last night we saw a great movie that portrayed this concept in about the best way I have ever seen out of Hollywood.
Knowing that this situation is temporary has a good affect, though. At age 55, we know very well how fast a single year goes by, and thus the incentive is to make the most of every amazing day. The other great benefit with this experience is that we will, at some future point, remember that this is possible to engineer, even if not here. Whether it be here in this strange place, or another, provided there is life left in us, there is nothing to stop the pursuit , and thus the attainment of a daily existence such as this.