Bơi ván đêm. Biển êm, gió nhẹ, sóng hiền.

I used to love going to the ocean at night. Especially whenever I was upset, or felt restless, nothing would sooth me more than floating on my back looking at the dark sky. Sometimes I asked the ocean for clarity and strength, like her water. Most times, I just wanted to be. Serenity.

The waves aren’t here yet, but I need to train, and have taken up going paddling at night. The motorbike guards always ask if I feel spooky out there. The spookiest thing is when an errant plastic bag brushes against one of my legs, sending up a shiver as I jerk startled. The only things that live near shore in this water are trash, unfortunately. Plastic bags, empty bottles, foam floats that were once used by cuttle-fish fishing baskets.

I’ve written so many times about how much I like paddling. At night, I can’t see past 10 ft ahead of me if I face away from shore so I feel a lot more. The bigger dip when a set is coming in, the gentle side to side between sets. The quietness. The clouds that form and part to reveal the moon and a few stars. The lights along shore, and further out from big ships and the twinkle from smaller boats. But all around me, just me.

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