When I first moved to Southeast Coastal Georgia in March 2020, the Pandemic was in its early stages. In our new clime, however, life went on pretty much as usual with fewer restrictions than in the Northern region we’d just left.
March in Southeast Georgia can be quite warm and by April, pool season was ramping up. I’d always loved swimming and being near water, so my new community’s Junior Olympic-sized pool was enticing, especially when I learned of the water aerobic sessions that took place almost daily.
I contacted Bonnie, our CWAO (Chief Water Aerobics Officer) aka instructor, and she informed me that due to Covid-prevention protocol, she had to limit the number of new participants. I understood, but I looked forward to joining in on those fun workouts choreographed to a stellar playlist; aqua-dancing in the warm sunshine among so many new friends. I was placed on a Wait List and was thrilled when I got the call to join in!
Our official Mermaid Season begins approximately in late March and concludes typically in November, a prolonged period of high energy watery movement synched to an eclectic mix of workout tunes. And oh yes, there are those fun gatherings each Friday afternoon at the Tiki Bar adjacent to the pool where we catch up with each other on-land while enjoying the latest Mermaid-inspired Mixology.
It is no surprise that there are tears of sadness when Mermaid season concludes when even the sunniest November Georgia morning can’t keep the water warm enough for us. But Mermaid spirit has a way of flowing throughout the year and recently, many of the Mermaids of Osprey Cove participated in the decorating of a sponsored Christmas tree located along the Tinsel Trail in beautiful downtown St. Marys.
The trees, purchased by sponsors (like our pool group) and local businesses are beautifully lit along a park at the St. Marys riverfront. Mermaids like to “go big” and a ten foot tree was purchased with money collected by the members. Our CTAO (Chief Tree Acquisitions Officer) Debi orchestrated this project and with the help of a Mermaid Village, the tree began to morph in to a stunning jewel-like beacon imbued with aqua-marine tones, mini-mermaids, shells, starfish, glistening pine cones and a multitude of unique oceanic touches.
But all this did not occur without some holiday drama and tree trauma!
Just after the lights were draped and the sparkling satin ribbons dispersed, it was noted that the tree was leaning a bit. By the next day, I was told that two loud cracks rang out as the tree toppled. Thankfully no one was hurt as the trunk of the Mermaid tree snapped and the tree went side ways. Was it being commandeered by all that Mermaid-like influence to head for the river I wondered?
Town officials were called and repairs were made. A new fortified tree emerged and the “funny” part was, it looked even better than before with the rearrangements of the existing ornamentation through a pair of fresh eyes and additional hands.
A “tree-gedy” was transformed to a new beginning. I think you know where I’m going with this.
The past few years of my life have been filled with chaotic influences. A major move to a new region, followed by the sudden passing of my husband, Rich, among other events. It has been through the new friendships I’ve made among my fellow Mermaids, neighbors and beyond that I’ve slowly made my way back from a broken base, rearranged perhaps, but able to reconstruct a new version of my life and to hopefully shine more brightly in the years to come with the help of so many. For this I am grateful.
NOTE: I mention Bonnie by name because without her, there would be no Mermaid Season, and thank Debi for initiating this project. However, there were so many individuals that helped to make this tree possible and all of their collective contributions are truly appreciated! Also, as I’m having some WordPress/Image Upload issues, many photos are not available to upload, however, I hope to use more in a subsequent post. Splash on…