Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Birthday Beach

Late start today and not arriving at Kehoe until just before 4 PM. The sun behind a mackerel sky is telling us, more rain is on the way. The sun lights the clouds to a papier-mâché stage set for a Kabuki drama. The mind always wanders in an upswing of salt-air and wide, unbroken space. If this were on stage, it'd be telling the story of the lovely princess held at ransom by a brutal lord demanding fealty from the head Shogun. The Lord's mind has been compressed into a knot by endless warfare. Then he falls into a madness of love with the princess, grace herself, who feigns suicide. But then her captor, in his shock and grief does the seppuku for real.

A complicated story of human dimension we contemplate as we walk home down the trail in the dark. We saw a lion here just this last summer. A mountain lion, big, swiftly crossing the road at dawn. We both saw it a few yards from the Kehoe parking area. They like hunting at dawn and dusk and that makes for a very uncomplicated story of eat or eaten. Oh, the imagination...!

It's hard to look for plastic today, and not much worth writing about— the beach at sundown is magnificent. It's a super low tide (which meant a big high as well washing the beach pretty clean). The acreage has tripled and the sky doubled by mirror wash of the sliding soft surf. The exposed stacks of granite, right at the tide line are full of mussels, barnacles, starfish and anemones. We'll come back at the month's end with a pick and pail and gather a bunch for a great winter solstice meal. But the sky.... pink and blue-grey reflected in the sheen of the low tide wash makes your heart skip a beat. The heart.

On the way to the beach, (it's my birthday today—what the hell) I decided to count my breaths all the way down the trail, keeping track using the joints of my fingers like prayer beads... I imagine the image of the melancholy Kabuki drama as I walk. It's also the anniversary of my father's death, a very full man, who died on this day so I'd remember.


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