Starfish and Satellites

It's three in the morning somewhere off the coast of Spain. I'm wide awake on the Wind Star floating in the Bay of Biscay. I can't hear or feel the engines; nevertheless, we’re moving through the water using the power of the wind. Waves are rocking the boat to and fro; it's very soothing. Now I know how it felt to be wrapped in my mother's arms and gently rocked to sleep as a baby. I feel like I haven't slept through the night since then. Insomnia is just one of the many fun symptoms of menopause.

Night sweat is another symptom. I peel my damp body out of the sticky sheets and attempt to sit up in bed. It's not as easy as it sounds. Sitting up leaves me slightly breathless and disoriented. As soon as I'm able to catch my breath, I stand at the foot of the bed and peep out the tiny porthole. This is the first night in a week I've been able to see the moon and stars. The clear night sky is so bright; I can see mountains along the coastline, and a few lights burning on the shore. I imagine other menopausal women looking back out at me from their homes nestled in the foothills. They can't sleep either. They glance out their windows, but they can't see my eyes staring back at them.

Do they spend the sleepless night worrying about their children? Do they pay for a gym membership, but rarely go? Do they fear the day they will not be able to pick up the phone and hear their mother’s voice? Do they obsess over their emerging mustache and expanding waistline? Do they look at their husband of more than 30 years and sometimes see a stranger? I suspect the answer to all of the above is yes.

These are my thoughts as I lay my head back on the pillow. I feel tiny and insignificant, surrounded by the blackness of the sky above, the water below, and the blackness in me. This melancholy won’t go away as I try to go back to sleep. Staring at the ceiling, I wonder what’s floating in the dark under and above me. I imagine starfish and satellites. I’m a tiny dot in this vast blackness. The thought makes me feel more than a little edgy and lonely, which is ridiculous because the boat is full of crew and passengers. The stranger’s head is on the pillow next to mine. I’m not alone, but it feels like it.

It briefly crosses my mind to get up, and head to the empty bar in my pajamas. I could make myself a tall drink of something cool and exotic. There’s a piano in there; I could play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with one hand while I sip my drink with the other. I could go up to the bridge and talk to the man steering this vessel. I could tell him a story about mermaids. I could go to the spa, and paint my toenails purple.

I don’t do any of that; I just lie here with my eyes closed, and imagine my mother rocking me to sleep as I float through the night under the cloudless sky.

The Super Seventies, or I guess I should say The Serious Seventies cuz look at our faces.

A fun road trip to Florida in 2015 with a quick stop at Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans.

We had so much fun in Natchitoches, Louisiana during our epic 2015 road trip. Steel Magnolias was filmed in Natchitoches.

We're raising our glasses to toast all mothers, here on earth and in heaven, this Mother's Day!!!

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