Sunday, August 21, 2011

Like Sea Shells, I Collected Thoughts

Gray clouds spitting. White capped, charcoal green waves spraying.
Sunglasses covered in rain drops. Refuge sought under the strained beach umbrellas, usually poised to block the sun. Four adults, crouching for warmth and dry.

Four lone children, oblivious to the inclement with the empty expanse of the beach their canvas. Architects, city planners, politicians, mayors. Navigating the perils of childhood--anarchy and disappointment, lines drawn in the sand. Compromise and resolution follow and copacetic rhythms return.

Raw weather beckons powerfully--pulsing and yelling. Daring us to stay, daring us to leave, to seek shelter under roof and within four walls. Gulls cry, warning of the storm's arrival.

We ignore them.

We stake our beach claim. Kids play. We observe. Souls settle into the space, the calm, the yield of beach vacation.

Sand. Prehistoric, jumbled particles of recycled rock and shell, shifting between toes. Adhering to body parts. Building beaches, play places.

Round rumps, saluting the sun. Busy hands below, engulfed in the sand. Digging. Building. Nothing and everything, small cities, leaning castles, shifting alphabets.

Long arms of the ocean, like white ruffles, pounding and dancing, creating my beloved beach. Past physical moments journeying to this point, my point, our point. Meeting and moving together.

Stepping into the ocean, I feel like I'm entering another's home. At the door steps of the magnificent sea. Benevolent, brutal, beautiful--hosting one and all, visitors, inhabitants and herself.

How long have these sandy crystalline, beautiful specks traveled to get here? Much longer than I. Intensely understanding the smallness of my life, as microscopic as those pieces of sand. Yet unlike those sandy bits, I am fleeting, impermanent.

Intoxicating, hypnotic and banal, the ocean sings to me. With a sand-embossed invitation, she implores me to be. Begs me to watch. Insists that I ponder, wonder.

And I do.

Stretching shadow of western sun elongating my smudge on the sand. Communing with the raw, pure ocean while the evening ritual unfolds back at the beach house--
shake and hang the towels
remove the sand
shower the body
climb into softest cottons
pour cocktails

I sit, solo, with her. The ocean. And her symphony. I've missed her. Reunited, my heart now swelling, tide-like, spilling into my chest, legs and arms.

Painful trepidation surrounding tomorrow's departure. But now, I'm here. Full. Salt-soaked. Sand covered. Wind tousled. Damp bathing suit. Crazy hair. Now.

The patterned randomness of the pounding Atlantic, simultaneously rhythmic and sporadic. An artful cornucopia of vastness and dichotomies. She sings to me again. Syncapatic melodies traced with the undertow of dissonance.

Scattered sea weed. Resilient piers. Taut flags. Stalwart gulls. White caps far onto the royal blue horizon, meeting the robins egg blue above.

I am captive.

I'm at the beach this weekend. I wrote this almost exactly a year ago, at the same beach. I am still captive.


pamela said...

This is gorgeous. I was there at the ocean with you. These are amazing images and I am so happy you wrote them down. I miss the ocean so much. Mine was the Pacific. Thank you for giving these memories to me too.


Rudri said...

Gorgeous and evocative. Oh, how I wish I could spend more time at the beach. I understand through your words why you treasure the ocean, sand, and the texture of the beach.