January 27, 2014

X-marked stone
X-marked stone

The water leaves its marks in so many ways.  Here the grasses, perhaps blown from the cliff sides and tossed about,  were left by the waves’ recession in the midst of foam, to be deposited and centered so perfectly on the stone.  Look at the lovely glyph that the strands created!  The loop and the graceful curves — and the shadows .  How could we not have invented writing after seeing something like this?

Some of the other water marks change radically with the washing/erasing/writing actions of the next wave.  The beach is the same, but different, from moment to moment.  But then, is it?  Would I recognize “my” stretch of beach if I were shown photos of many beaches nearby?  Will the rock formations, the nature of the sand, the cliffs, the stairways, indeed, the lifeguard stations — will they imprint their uniqueness on me after a while?  How long might that take?

The gulls especially and often the skitterers (sandpipers, yes, that’s a poetic enough name, but…) seem to gather at just about the same spot day after day.  I wonder if their convention hall varies with the season, with the tides, with the human activities on the beach?   I wonder if they are there all day.  When do they arrive?  Do they sleep there?  And how do they choose their spot?  And recognize it?

This afternoon there were perhaps only a dozen people in sight on our two-mile stretch.  I wonder where the gulls will gather when the beach is more crowded in summer.

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