Thursday, June 21, 2007

rocky ground

The ocean is a wading pool for many Bermudian kids, who spend most of their childhood in the water, with many having been in before they've learned how to walk. It all begins with them being practically thrown in the water. I can believe that. In fact I've heard about it. In almost all cases, it's the fathers that perform this 'ritual', viewed as a rite of passage, if you will. The protective mothers are undoubtedly unimpressed & let the fathers have it, more so when they get the 'let's wait & see' or 'give the baby a minute' spiel. If this were to take place in Canada, you'd have Children's Aid knocking on the door. We were all witness to the late Australian, Steve Irwin first introducing his baby son to the world by prancing him in front of a croc at one of their shows at the Australian Zoo. The international outrage could not be quelled even with Steve in his defence stating that his son was used to the crocs & they to him. Each to his own, I reckon. But if in Bermuda, the baby learns how to stay afloat at that young an age, where's the harm? The younger they are the better right? Come to think of it, maybe my dad should have tossed my toddler self in, into Dubai's waters, then I'd definitely not have grown up fearing the water as much as I did. I know my mother would have had a fit. There's a method to one's madness, but it may not always work.

Unlike my brother, I am no diver & so when at Tobacco Bay, I anxiously watch the Bermudian boys as they get up to the highest rock & dive into the water. This is a favourite spot for this stunt to be performed as its mini mountain on one side of the beach makes for an ideal diving off point, to them. The boys are mostly fully attired complete with their shoes on & they see no need to indulge in swimwear or dive in sans footwear. But this is a dangerous feat as the rocks underwater are just as jagged as the ones exposed to the elements. I've winced when I've many a time scraped myself against these rocks while snorkeling. Diving in is risky because Bermuda's rocks are forever changing. With every hurricane, gale force wind or tropical storm, the rocks morph into another version of its previous self, courtesy of the erosion cause by the battering waves. The boys though, are fearless & have probably mapped out their safe spots. But it still makes me cringe as I watch them jump in, competing with one another. Boys will be boys, intense competitors, with sessions of who can outdo whom, forever thrill seekers to the core. Well boys, whatever floats your boat!

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