On our honeymoon in Fiji I went for a run on the beach. The weird, deep beach one overcast morning. (Oh, wait, they were all overcast.) I'm trotting along, slightly uncomfortable wearing my swimsuit beneath my running clothes to make for a convenient swim post-sweat.
I jog past a local, admiring her blue wrap-around dress with a bold white design. She's carrying a big basket in front of her. I wonder what's inside.
After a few moments, I realize she's gaining on me--catching up, running too. We race each other for a couple of minutes. I'm laughing inside. She's looking friendly but pretty determined. I push the slight awkwardness away and think how strange and sweet and somewhat out of body this is.
Sand is getting in my sneakers as I try to keep up with this extremely fast Fijian who probably has 15 years and 15 pounds on me. There mustn't be anything in that basket. Musn't.
I start slowing; she was passing me. I slow to a stop. I catch my breath and watch her get smaller, never looking back. I turnaround for my swim on that weird, deep beach with a low, pale tide.