An Icy Blue Curtain-Memoir : Elisabeth Berg


By: Elisabeth Berg

My heart quickened, my pace jolted into an unusual speed. My brain was fighting against the devil, just to save my judgment! UGH! Why did it have to come to this?!


I was in Virginia, at the Chesapeake Bay, with my cousin’s and grandparents. They had rented a brobdingnagian beach house, as a vacation spot. It was a wooden cabin! The hot sunlight sprinkled its gleaming rays across the bay, bringing the chilling purple tips of a dolphins dorsal fin into my peripheral vision.  Our  family was thinking about kayaking, due to the time of the low tide. The island that we were searching for only came out during the low tide. But I had NO experience, (at all) of paddling or rowing,  so,  I was going in circles for a while. Who knows how long that took.


Before my family began climbing into  kayak’s and scrambling into their (already set up) groups. I stood for a moment pondering the dock, which was bouncing, bobbing, and plunging into the water. Aghast. I was petrified about the dock, floating out to sea.


The thought hit me like a speeding bullet, would I be on that trip… floating out to sea. I pondered my situation and sprang up from the dock and into the kayak that would carry me towards my


After my dock encounter, I followed my family rather then Aunt Amanda and Nana, who were rowing instantaneously out into the Chesapeake Bay where big long poles were sticking out of the water like skewers in a kabob, and breaching the surface.


The sun peeking through them, letting the warmth of the sun on your skin. The water whipping around our kayaks, with the smell of the salty sea air. And the sweet crash of the white capped waves as they struck the rocks with a CRASH. Furthermore one could feel at peace, just out in the open, everything was still. Kind of like a picture book, but every page was different. For I was the master of my sea


 Nevertheless my brother’s and parents went with myself trailing behind them, into a little area that was low and quite shallow. Exploring was optional so I began paddling frantically in circles again. And again.


Until I stopped to admire the needle fish, soaring and lunging out into the calm bay… letting the ocean churn around their bodies. The swirling water around my kayak, giving a blanket  made of foam, which intercepted with the needlefish, letting them have cover as they slipped down into the shallow ocean blue.


After the fact, I began paddling closer to my family, who were touching down on the cold ocean water. I was about to land on the soft sand floor, when all of a sudden a white jellyfish, as big as a platter, floated right next to my kayak. I stared down with shock and horror. My head was fighting for the decision of stepping out into the bubbling blue, or cowardly hiding…


“Well…” I teased myself, “It’s only a harmless jellyfish!”


“Harmless?!” I argued back. “Pfftt! It’s a jellyfish for pete’s sake! It’s going to sting you! It may just be floating their, but it could clubber you in an instant!”


“Well, I mean that your so big and it’s just so tiny!” I snapped back.


“FINE!!” I yelled, I have decided!


I regained myself and snapped quickly back into my kayak. I clung to the oar with all my might.  But Jeffrey and Jonathan were running through the water making the tide spray everywhere, with ripples trailing behind them. I felt guilt cross my mind.


As I stayed inside my kayak, I watched a Great Blue Heron touch down on a leaf, and squawk so loudly that it sounded like Jurassic Park. I stayed in the middle of my kayak, careful not to tip over. I swallowed hard as the water churned around me. But there was no use just staying in the kayak and for an instance I felt the bar of guilt lift. I was free!!


I plunged both feet into the  water and waded around. The water hung around my legs like icy curtains. The water was chilling around my ankles but nothing could describe how I felt. The cool feeling of freedom never lost its grip as I splashed, waded and sprang into the air. Joyous for the feeling of joy itself. The water reflected my feelings, and I smiled back.


I glanced back at my kayak that had traveled me so far. The sea swirling around it like a soft blue sheet. The ocean was a living breathing thing and I had rode it.


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