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It was as benign a Sunday as any other.

He wanted to fish. The kids agreed. They selected a spot. They gathered their gear and left.


Huddled on a cement pier, the sun warmed their backs. Deftly they hooked their bait and cast their lines. The twins — in  honeyed braids that swung low down their sturdy backs — chose the southernmost spots on the pier. Together they faced the distant horizon. Our son, afraid to venture past, did not quietly sit beside his father. “Do you think there are sharks here?” he looked around while untangling his line. Repeat a question in rapid succession more than twice and it doesn’t merit an answer.

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In the crystalline pools of the rocky inlets, schools of sardines leapt in silver synchrony. My daughters, happy to dip their lines in the clear waters, idly passed their time. And in this quiet time others more adept to the lure and the pole, steadily pulled and gathered their glistening amberjack and snapper. My family, meanwhile, contentedly sat beside the sea, poles in hands, and caught absolutely nothing.

We were gladdened, though, by the salt on our skin, our ruddy faces and the stench of chum beneath our nails.

It was a time well spent together.