If you mess with Momma… Par 5 (Part I)

Early in the year 2012, amidst the cold, the slush and the dreary weather (read Chicago life in the winter), my wife, Suzanne, had a yearning for balmy breezes and sun drenched beaches, while I longed to be able to pull out my clubs for a couple rounds of golf.  It didn’t take much convincing for either one of us to decide that a trip to one of our favorite winter destinations, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, would be a great palliative for those “winter blues.”

100_0875Hacienda Encontada

Los Cabos, Mexico

 Situated at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, during our cold Chicago winter, “Cabo” enjoys sunny days with temperatures in the 80’s and nights clear and balmy with an unbelievable blanket of stars to warm the soul.  So we headed south to take advantage of the  sun, beach  and golf by day, and dinner on the veranda, under the stars, by night.  What a respite…

…Hello Mexico.

Above is the view from our pool deck.  We could see “lands end, “the geographic tip” of the peninsula, while seated in our poolside deck chairs (see across the bay to the left in the photo).  Facing south, over the cliffs, we could take full advantage of the sun from sunrise to sunset—while looking out over the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean all the way to the horizon, enjoying a vista marked only by the occasional fishing boat and the spouting of whales cavorting about in the midst of their mating season.

Wait, wait, wait!  Isn’t this supposed to be a blog about golf?

Yes, it is a Blog...about Golfand about Wisdom, and about Life.  My desire is to explore the interplay of those components in my life and perhaps in yours..  So on with the story…

Given the setting—as beautiful and peaceful as it was—it was hard to decide which had the higher value…get to the tee, or, proceed, post haste, poolside to our sundeck chaise (yes they had chaises built for two!).  With a nod toward equality, we decided that we would…rest and work on our tan, poolside, the first day… play golf the next…sandwich in a trip to the tip of the peninsula on the third day…followed by another round of golf on day four…then, in the evening of day four…decide what would be the best use of our remaining time on site.

Great plan!  Only one problem—we forgot to pay attention to “Momma Nature” 

We spent the entire first day enjoying the luxurious setting, much of it in the “infinity pool,” returning at dusk to our suite to prepare for dinner.  One quick check in the mirror indicated that we had overstayed our time in the tropical sun and had garnered skin tones substantially beyond red.  Within minutes of our arrival in our room I had chills, shivers and shakes from overexposure, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since my early boyhood.  OOPS!  There goes dinner.

The following day—lathered in sunscreen—something like SPF 1000, I’m sure—we followed through on our plan to play golf and had a delightful round on one of several Jack Nicklaus courses in the area, “Cabo Del Sol,” and then dinner under the stars—more shivers! (Note to self: Shivering at dinner in this romantic setting does not generally endear you to your partner.)

Fast forward to day three.

Per our plan we made our way to the Harbor of Cabo San Lucas in the morning and secured transportation by water taxi—the only means of getting to the tip of the peninsula being by boat—to see the world famous “natural arch”,  carved out through the ages by the constant pounding of the surf between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific, at Baja’s tip. (Big clue – nasty surf here!)  In route, we were coached, by our boat captain, that there is one thing we must remember, at all cost, on our little adventure—DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK TO THE SURF–-DO NOT MESS WITH MOMMA NATURE!  There could be dire consequences if you do.

Moments later we were dropped off on the beach, encouraged  to enjoy ourselves and to be careful.   After we got our bearings we set off on our beach trek to explore the area being mindful of the admonition, “DON’T MESS WITH MOMMA…”  Within minutes we had settled in to a course parallel to the water, safely, some twenty feet up from the surf—or so we thought.

Suddenly—seemingly out of nowhere and without warning—I was swept off my feet, unable to regain a stance, and was being pulled out to sea in a riptide as Suzanne looked on from the sand.  Fortunately a lifeguard familiar with the dangers of the area had been watching us from a distance and came, on a dead run. to snatch me back to my feet, out of the surf and out of danger. The events occurred so rapidly and were over so quickly I didn’t appreciate, at the moment how serious the situation had been.  The picture below was taken just moments after the incident—there I sit, disheveled, soaking wet and thankful to be alive.



It wasn’t until the next day when the shock began to wear off that I/we  began to unpack the significance of this event.    Since then I have had many question to ponder such as:

How did this happen? 

Why did this happen? 

What can I learn from the experience? 

What does my Maker want me to learn from the experience?

What might you learn from my experience?

I’d like to share some of my thinking and what I’ve learned in my next post.  But, until then I have a question for you to ponder:

Were you to be put through the same set of circumstances we experienced, what might your questions be and how would you answer those questions?

Post script: As I sit here looking at the pathetic picture above, I can’t help but recall my mothers’ oft repeated admonition when I was a little boy (I being “a handful” as a little one, or so I am told): “if you mess with Momma, you’re going to get a slap!” 

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