Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sanibel Shores by Susan L.

  The beach stretches as far as the eye can see. It is full of people dressed in vibrant Florida gear, the kind of clothing that befits a holiday. They are bent over, as am I, or hunkered down, or carry long handled, screened scoops. All of us searching for that perfect shell. There are literally piles washed in by salty tides. The waves rattle with a joyful noise as they repeat an ages long rythymn against the coast. It's a sound I think might be unique to these east/west islands.
  Colours never named tease the eyes in seeming chaos. Sunset colours. Dawn colours. Rainy afternoons. Watery suns of January blizzards. Bright midday explosions of colour catch the eye. It's as though the sky lay at your feet. Checkerboard patterns, dots, swirls, rays, adorn shapes of seemingly infinite numbers. All of this changes twice a day, every day at the whim of tide and wind.
  It's hard to not look down and I have to remind myself to look up once in a while. A sandpiper scurries away once he knows I've seen him. Terns, gulls, pelicans and other mysterious birds rest on a sand bar just off shore. They squawk and preen after an early breakfast. It sounds like a meeting of the House of Commons. I've seen dolphins just off shore, too.
  This morning there was a lot of seaweed. It adds its own rainbow: avocado and ivory strands, creams and coffees, chocolates and butterscotch. Sponges in vibrant reds or dusty grays that I've only ever seen on nature shows pop up every now and then. I jumped as one moved only to reveal a crab dressed in an incredible mimicry of a green and lumpy sponge. Tomorrow it might be all gone, pulled back into the Gulf of Mexico by the tides retreat.
  The scene is ageless and eternal yet runs to a twelve hour clock and as I try to capture it in pen and ink, the image is long gone except in memory. Here, the "now" rules.
  "When I concider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him?" Ps 8:3-4

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