The kingfisher and I


Looking out at the boats moving back and forth, checking their crab pots, restocking supplies, the kingfisher and I are pensive. He sits on a post and calls for a mate that can’t hear him over the sound of motors and fisherman calling out their catches. Yachters sit behind us on a deck patio, sipping their lattes in sweatshirts embroidered with the name of a boat or a distant harbor. I am sitting in the sunshine on the dock, my sweater abandoned, enjoying a few minutes of solitude while a friend shops in town for lemons and beer. Our crab baskets are in the water, their markers bobbing in a soft wake beyond the point, and there are big plans for dinner.

When I arrived on the island today, I thought of Drew. How much he would enjoy this. There isn’t an ocean lover out there who wouldn’t. The weather is perfect, climbing to an even 75 degrees each day, and the water has a welcome chill after a pickleball game or a hike up to the viewpoint.

How great it would be to own this experience, and to be able to share it with him. The things it might change, being this close to perfection, having this big a reality check. His ability to appreciate this place fully would make or break us. I’ve always felt that being with Drew could be the antidote to needing to be with Drew.

A loon is fishing just beyond the rocky point in the cove. He catches my eye, curving into the water in a quick motion, black and sleek, eel-like and glistening like satin. I wait to see where he will pop up. When he does, he is farther out, the outline of his slender neck and head silhouetted against the sky. The dock shakes with footsteps coming toward me. The kingfisher leaves his post. Perhaps he has located his wife.

I don’t own these moments. I am here with friends who return my phone calls, and meet me for drinks, dinners, and island getaways. I am here because these friends are real in a way that he isn’t. And this is their island, on which today, contentment is offered to me alone.

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