For any first time visitor, where a seventy-one degree December breeze deemed it officially “sweater-weather”, it was easy to be impressed. And as a bubbly, nervous twenty-three year old tour guide, I was more than willing to let nature show the farm boy my heart.
It was the perfect night for a drive.
A sailor’s moon, hanging low across the waterline, silhouetted the palm trees like feathery plumes leaning out of their inkwells.
The mangroves at the edge of the point hunkered in the shadows like crusty old mariners with knotty joints and crooked spines.
It wasn’t until I killed the engine and pointed at the magnificent skyline that I realized that he wasn’t interested in the view.
A pair of hazel eyes, glassy and intense, flattened my anxious laughter until my heart valves froze. Starlight and stillness enveloped us.
The Moment had come.
I was completely affected by the fever of his gaze. I was smitten beyond recognition. I was dangling by a tenuous thread, ready to fall, as he leaned closer toward me.
Naturally, I reached for the handle and dove out the door. I was always a gifted runner.
He found me on a large rock at the water’s edge, staring at the reflection across the bay where the neon colors of the cityscape sparkled like a shattered mirror.
The pulsing red and green lights of the channel markers and the thick humid air restored my composure. There at the ocean’s edge, I found the breath I’d lost.
It was in this moment that I no longer felt frayed and undone, but softened and stilled as he slipped his hand into mine. I turned to him, allowed my eyes to find his, and welcomed the future to come.
I smiled when he suddenly wrinkled his nose, glancing furtively side-to-side, and shifted uncomfortably in his flip flops. He recoiled from the briny smell that was wet pine and seaweed, and wiped the sweat from his temples. He repeatedly slapped his ankles and stomped his feet like a counting pony, which amused me with calloused perplexity.
Up in the heavens, there was the unexpected clash of colliding dreams. Behind a floating curtain of purple clouds, flashes of heat lightning flickered across the sky, like the nostalgic home movies we’d had yet to record.
Wordlessly, yet without uneasy silence, the charge of that Christmas sky sealed the fate of the farm boy and the ocean girl.
And it happened there at Lugo Point.