Quiet.  On the beach with Otto. No wind so the cold doesn’t penetrate. Sun. Tide is low exposing the beach with the rocks and pebbles that I detested when first introduced, brought up on the fine sands of the south shore.  Now they welcome me with more color and texture than the south can offer. And treasures. Beach glass, shells, flotsam, and once in a while a fishing lure.

I hear a clammer’s rake banging against the side of his Garvey, the first sorting of what goes back and what to market.  The box will be next and I hear the clattering of the hard shells on the sorting pipes. I turn to look and he is easily a mile away, yet the sound carries, the Sound so still.

The winter ducks. Ah-Ara-Wack, Ah-Ara-Wack is their tune, if you can call it a tune. I am not sure of the proper name of this visitor but he and his brethren have been here a few weeks. Their song mixes with the seagulls who are dropping shells on the parking lot, screaming at their competitors to stay away from the opened mollusk.

We walk to the point without much thought to the weather or the time of year. Just a nice day to be outside, on the beach. I look up from time to time to see if any other visitors are about.  Sometimes a harbor seal, sometimes a snowy owl. I have heard of whales in the area. None of them show themselves today. Not yet.

I watch the last of the water draining from the sand as the tide reaches its turning point.  The bright sun reveals the sparking water moving, running. A ritual that repeats itself daily, twice a day. Forever. Always. Rearranging tiny pieces of the earth, moving it along its continuum. Moving it where it wants it to go.

The town will bring sand in the spring and the bulldozer will spread it, trying to give beach goers who prefer the finer grit some to sit on, for a while.  Nature will do the sorting. The moving. Always. Forever.

Ah-Ara-Wack – the birds muster and swirl in the water, some chasing, others diving. Ah-Ara-Wack. One pod forces another from its roost. Ah-Ara-Wack. They seem restless as many of us must seem to them.

I am not.  Restless that is.  I have never known the peace I feel. I still challenge myself.  I still engage with the world, just at my pace and in arenas of my choosing. It is nice. I am fortunate.  I have this time before nature takes over and starts moving me to where it wants me to go. Ah-Ara-Wack.


For more of Tom’s prose go to Tom’s Books


Please use the icons below to share and thanks for the support!