• Mary B Cordero

Cloud Under Water

Once again, Enrique and I are magically transported to Pass-A-Grille Beach!


We find ourselves sitting on the warm sand, facing West. Our eyelids slowly relax into majestic serenity while we listen to the waves splashing upon the shore and welcome the loving kisses of the Gulf breeze on our faces.


The boundless azure sky paints the quintessential backdrop for the fluffy cumulus clouds floating ever-so-gently on Mother Nature’s life-giving breath—an enduring vision captured by artists and photographers, and enjoyed by us—children of senior years, as we watch unicorns morphing into elephants before they dissipate into the heavens.


Suddenly, the unwelcome squawk of seagulls plucks us from our reverie—we stir, stretch, slowly fill our lungs with refreshing salty air, and continue to immerse ourselves in the warmth of the present.


From a distance, we see groups of people suddenly leaving the water, then they turn around at the shoreline as if to examine what they left behind. Our insatiable curiosity propels us to the water’s edge, where we see what looks like a dark cloud under the water. Enrique and I have spent countless hours at Pass-A-Grille Beach and have never witnessed such a surreal event.


The surface of the water is still. There is no splashing. The anomaly extends over 100 feet in diameter and is moving slowly and steadily in our direction. As the “object” moves to within 50 feet or so, we identify it as a fever of stingrays! With excitement and without hesitation, we walk directly into their path, and with utter respect and awe, stand motionless in waist-deep water—and wait.


The stingrays come closer and closer—then begin to glide past our thighs about 1-2 feet under the surface of the water. There are hundreds of them—wee ones and grand ones—obviously presenting many generations of their families. Their eyes are visible, and many of them look up at us as they pass by as if to say, “Hi!”


The rhythmic undulation of their “wings” generates a gentle water current that caresses our bodies and—for a brief moment in time—we are ONE.