Saturday, August 26, 2006

Day of the Dolphins

Living in Florida has its perks.

Late yesterday, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice seafood dinner at one of our many local waterfront restaurants. Life has been a bit stressful lately because of some family issues, and we felt the need to relax, unwind, breathe some of those salt air 'ions' that really do give your mood a lift. (They work - trust me.) We asked for a window seat overlooking the bay, and sat there (cold beer in hand), watching the ripples on the water, the sunset reflecting on distant high-rises, a tall white heron stalking fish along the shoreline.

And then I saw them. Three fins breaking the surface, three quick blasts of air and water marking them as a trio of dolphins, out for an early dinner in the shallows of the bay. We watched, oohing and aahing as they appeared and disappeared, breaking the surface, gray backs glistening as they dived and circled. And suddenly, I was reminded of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. If you haven't seen this one, you should: directed by Jodie Foster, starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr., a young Claire Danes, and the very hunky Dylan McDermott. Holly Hunter has gone home to be with her elderly parents and completely dysfunctional extended family for the Thanksgiving holidays. Though she loves them, she finds herself very quickly going nuts, locked in a bathroom for some privacy, and talking to her teenage daughter on the phone just for the sense of normalcy and sanity it gives her. Her daughter reminds her of a scuba trip they took together where they watched an angel fish swimming peacefully beneath the sea, all silence and beauty, and tells her mom, "Remember the fish, Mom. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming."

Not only can I relate to the dysfunctional family part :), the advice was perfect. I can only do what I can do, and what other people do is, for the most part, beyond my control. I'll just keep swimming, one eye on the shore and the other on the unknown deep. Every once in a while I'll come up for air, splash around a little for good measure, then submerge myself back into the water that is my life. A life which, for the most part, is pretty darn good.

It got me wondering, though... what's your favorite way to make a splash? A night out, a day in your jammies, an afternoon at the mall? What helps you 'keep swimming'?


Dana Diamond said...

I *love* that movie. And I remember that line! Well, I didn't remember all of it like you do, but when I'm just "done" with things, sometimes I hear that line, "Remember the fish."

I agree about the sea air too. That always does the trick for me.

Hope things calm down for you soon.

:) d

Terri said...

Thanks, Dana. :) "Remember the fish" is kind of a weird thing to say, unless you've seen the movie.

Do you recall the scene where the turkey went all over the uptight sister's head? LOL I LOVED that movie!

Michele said...

I haven't seen Home for the Holidays, but EVERY time I see dolphins now, I get "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy stuck in my head. LOL The song is running amok in my head as I write this!

But to answer your question...To keep swimming, I need my days at home where I don't feel I have to be "on" and sociable. Jammies preferred, but not required. :-)

Terri said...

I love Douglas Adams... didn't think that Hitchhikers translated very well from the book to the movie, though. Have you tried 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'? Adams was just ahead of his time.

And I agree with the 'down time at home', Michele.

Michele said...

No, I haven't read that. Thanks for the recommendation (and all the fish). See? Every single time!

Dana Diamond said...

Yes, that's exactly why I never say "Remember the fish" aloud...on purpose, anyway.

And, yes! I *loved* that scene! As I recall, Mom and I just about wet our pants laughing over it.

I loved the whole was so well made. Dylan McDermott didn't hurt either. :)

I'm so glad you brought it up. It's one of those movies I absolutely love, but I haven't seen it in years. Now that I'm beginning to plan Thanksgiving, I *have* to rent it.

:) d