Wednesday, October 3, 2007
All the sounds of life surround me: the wind rustling the long grasses, gulls flying low and calling to me hopeful for a crumb, and the surf, the ever-pounding surf. The surf pushes and pulls me as I walk through its flow, shoes tied and slung across my shoulder, bare feet on sand leaving a fleeting imprint on the strand
I meander from the water to the strand and back again – one mile becomes two and then three and more. The water is so cold at first, as I walk through the surf. Slowly, the cold becomes simply something I am aware of just as I feel the texture of the sand and feel the breeze blow my smock out behind me like a black sail. I keep to my pathless path and continue into the wind. The sail does not direct my course.
I’m not sure what the locals think – I know they stop and stare. They are all bundled against the elements, so careful to stay dry and warm – it is a chilly day. I’m not totally foolish; I have three layers of tops on: a turtle neck and sweatshirt and my black sweat smock (albeit, unbuttoned) down to my bare knees and damp rolled up shorts.
I could not resist the water, so off came the shoes and socks. The Sperry’s would have survived the salt waves and sand, but then they wouldn’t be dry for later. The socks are stuffed in their toes and the leather laces tied in a bow across my shoulder. I can walk freely barefoot and feel the earth beneath me.
I look down at the tan feet with red polished toenails just beneath the water, as if they belong to someone else. Perhaps they do – I feel renewed, reborn – not quite the self I was when I arrived. It is hard to explain how clean I feel; how so much washed away with the ebbing tide; how small and insignificant everything becomes when I walk alone along the oceans edge and face the awesomeness of it all.
The horizon is all water now and the only shoreline is the one I tread. Civilization, for the moment is so far away.