Wednesday, December 28, 2016


The ocean is one of my favorite places of energy and renewal. The ebb and flow of the tides provides me with comfort. The waxing and waning of the waves provides me space and time to reflect upon the concepts of silence and repetition. It is where I am provided stories of the creatures and objects that find themselves (cast) upon its shores.

The ocean is a place of form and beauty. Decay and new life. A tangle of kelp quickly becomes a series of toys and weapons for the kids who accompany me on my walk. Likewise it is shelter for sand fleas and microorganisms, food for many creatures, something to be swept back out to sea with the next high tide.

I try to convince the kids that this mostly buried log is a beached whale, but they are too old for such stories. At one time, I would have been able to keep the ruse up for quite some time, but these kids are losing their innocence. They are becoming hardened by the world, and perhaps hardened to the world.

But one story they do like, even though still unconvinced of its verity, is that of the sea potato. I spun a tale about the "sea potatoes" that littered the beach—ovoid chunks of sod scattered across the sand after a storm had torn them away from some other beach and deposited them where we stood. So these sea potatoes are manifestations of erosion. Erosion of a beach and erosion of a truth. Once covered in sea foam, their true origin, their true form is a bit more hidden and more malleable.

This is the log that the kids will remember for quite some time. Initially, it was a perch for the kids to stand upon as the waves lightly lapped at its seaward edge. But the nipping soon became a large bite that pushed the log from beneath their feet and sent them into waist-water with an unexpectedly large wave. As they clung to the log after being thrown into the air, and scrambled from their cold and wet beach baptism, they looked back upon the log that tried to snake its way back to the sea from whence it came.

Then we departed. Wet. Laughing. The salted air filled with chatter, as though we were seabirds. Only the sea foam pushed up onto the shore by the waves to remain. Pushed up onto the shore by the waves—again and again and again.

No comments: