Florida Keys

Long Key State Park

The Florida Keys

Photos and Text by Frolick

It had to be past midnight. I could tell because the air felt hollow and all lanterns were out of light. Everyone at my camp and most surrounding were long asleep. As Finnley and I were about to crawl into our tent I pulled him aside. These were the first moments of the day that we were able to spend alone. Standing under the crisp coal sky staring into the waters edge we felt a familiar spark. Both past tired’s peak, we felt the awakening of energy and adventure that often comes when spending too much time under a full moon. Finnley suggested a moonlit kayak and the old hesitant “no” started to crawl up my throat, but I took a deep swallow and said “ok”.

From the shore we walked the kayak to where the water was shin deep and arrowed toward the open horizon. The sky was indistinguishable from the glassy waters, each reflecting each other. Everything started to feel like a dream; the galaxies above us, the still expanse. I saw light flittering threw our ripples and swore it was wildlife, but it was just the moon. Finnley paddled us slowly back and forth past the face of the 57 coastal campsites, sometimes letting the water take us were it willed. We could have stayed in this moment forever for each and every concern that dwelled in us from our weekly lives seeped into the ocean and were swept away. All that was left was the sky and the sea and each other. The way life should be.

Nothing pleases me more than living my life by the discourses of nature. Because of this place I am rich on sunrises and sunsets, even a rising moon, rich with salty skin and hair, sandy toes and bum, sun-kissed freckles on my face, campfire smoke showers, and the rebirth of myself as a “yes” person. Every time I return to camp at Long Key it becomes more and more of a refuge for me and paddle boarding my prayer.

Over the course of this year, I have grown from being terrified at kayaking past shin deep water in the daytime to feeling like there is no other place in the world I should be than kayaking by moonlight. I have had my soul so quieted I was concerned for my mental health – until realizing for the first time in my life that that is what peace of mind felt like.

Whether I find myself there with a group of friends or just Finnley, it is never a disappointing experience. I get to sleep under the stars and the sun rises from the Atlantic right outside my door.

Photos above and below (C) 2014 Frolick & Finnley

Frolick lives in Southern Florida.  She spends as much time as she can traveling and adventuring her home town and beyond.  Find out more on her website and instagram.



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