Pounding, pounding. The dull wet slap of my feet in damp-packed sand at the edge of water. Waves, irregular intervals, stretching for my toes. I run, leap, quick. Along the edge of life, where motion and stillness collide, I stop and breathe. Deep prana, look out over the ocean, exhale. I see my self, a dolphin, leap from my soul out into the blue and I know peace. The waves grab but always release. I run but I always stop. The sand is cool on my feet, the waves rough and loud. Quick, graceful, jump, gone.
On the edge of my world I study the creatures that reside there, riding the edges of existence. These birds, equally at home on air, water, or land, fascinate me. How they dominate these three elements is mystifying, as I only manage a shaky grasp on one. I watch them run in and out along the shoreline, probing quickly between waves, periodically leaping into the air as one and circling around my head, guiding by instinct until they are clear of the potential danger I pose. Eyes squinted against the sun and wind, I watch as they land down the beach and resume dodging waves. The longer-legged sandpipers have no need to scurry in and out of every wave, but the stubby-legged sanderlings run to avoid a cool dousing. Occasionally, one small piper misjudges and must take to the air in a small flustered bundle of dripping feathers, peeping until it again settles back into rhythm with the constant motion of the waves.
I feel so apart from these natural rhythms, though I wish to be a part. But I know, in an hour or so, that I will turn around and walk back to my car, drive back to civilization. I have nothing against modern conveniences, but at times I wish I could be more like these shorebirds and span different worlds with such ease. Being able to transition so smoothly between two extremes, like a bird between air and shore, would be like slipping into a second reality.
|Galapagos Islands, 2008|
I want to dance barefoot in the sand, spinning until the dunes and sea blend together in a swirl of color and I fall winded on the soft sand in a heap, inhaling the damp air, waiting for the world to right itself around me.