Last Saturday was two years since my brother-the-human died. So Apollo and I went out to visit him, in his new form as the ocean. He’s been the ocean ever since we scattered his ashes there, on the date of his birthday in 2011.
Auckland is on an isthmus, so we’re surrounded by ocean on all sides – I can get to the sea in under five minutes from where I live, driving down to the local wharf. But that’s not where my brother-the-ocean is. He’s at Bethell’s Beach, or Te Henga. While the ocean stretches around Auckland, and from there around the country and the world, he is, I believe, content to explore the great West Coast beaches area, basing himself at Te Henga.
Last year I visited alone. I drove out on a sunny Friday morning in my togs and dress; walked out to the water’s edge, and spent time with him. I ended up kneeling in the water, having a dialogue – my commentary punctuated with waves of agreement, or sass, or laughter. I cried a lot, that first year – but I smiled a lot, too.
I also got a lot of sand in my nethers.
Visiting with Apollo this year was really pleasant. We wandered down together – he rolled his jeans up while I tied the skirt of my dress into a knot, and then hitched it into my knickers (which still didn’t stop me getting wet up to my hips, but I tried). I carried my jandals in one hand, while he knotted his sneaker laces and slung them over his shoulder. We took turns holding the camera – and while I started out taking a few pics, he ended up taking most of them.
And once again, I spent a lot of time talking to my brother. Nothing special – nothing I wouldn’t mind anyone else hearing. And yet I’m glad that Apollo wandered off up the beach and gave me some distance. Glad I was able to spend some time alone, together, just talking about everyday things. About how fast his daughter is growing up. About how I’m studying now. About the how he must be loving all the hot surfers coming out.
I think I’ll be visiting him more often now. But it’s getting hot out there – I got my first sunburn of the season, and I should have had a parasol!
See you soon, my brother.
He was the wickedest bro I know. (Did you catch the click-throughs?)