by Ray Jason
It was the silhouette hour. A cayuco came paddling towards me in the deep dusk as I sat with my back against AVENTURA’s mast. The oarsman’s stroke was smooth and strong. There was a child in the back tending the fishing line as her dad rowed.
When they were 20 yards away I realized that it was not a father – it was a grandmother. Even though she was as ancient and weathered as her hand-carved cayuco, she propelled it like a man in the prime of his life. It was a joy to behold.
I motioned them over towards my boat and hustled below for a packet of cookies to give to them. As they nudged up beside my hull, I was amazed by the peaceful dignity of the old woman. Her face was dark and deeply lined, but her eyes flashed like moonlight on the sea. At this close range I could now see the amazing resemblance between her and her grand-daughter.
As they rowed away I noticed the grandmother turn her head to make sure that the young girl was okay. I suspect that as she did so her mind flashed back to when she was that same age - sitting in the stern of a little cayuco admiring the power and grace of HER grandmother as she paddled them across a twilight lagoon.
I turned back to my clipboard and spent a half an hour working up a haiku to celebrate the encounter.
Ancient grandmother –
you still row your cayuco
like the girl within.