Monday, August 31, 2009

By The Sea

I sit by the sea. Under a royal blue umbrella, one of twelve in a row worthy of Cannes. It is dusk and through my half closed eyes I am watching a blonde chihuahua. Like the baby in a herd of maternal elephants, he darts in and out through the legs of his companions, three plump and brightly dressed ladies as much like Sleeping Beauty’s good fairies as it is possible to be. The little fellow is happy, splashing through the surf, carrying his tiny tail high like a yellow parenthesis waving behind him, punctuating the salty air with wags of joy. Far out to sea, another storm rages. I see the rain falling, a grey trunk on a tree with black leaves. I watch it as one would watch a play, far removed from the drama in my seat on the shore.
Far removed from the drama.
I doze.
One by one they scattered behind me, small worries, great plans, insignificant trivialities - they flew out the open windows like spent roses loosed from a summertime bouquet, the last paperthin petal floating away on the breeze as I crossed the old bridge to the island. The ancient salt marshes waved down below me, lime coloured puzzle pieces strewn over glass, whispering the way to the sea.
I followed them here with relief.
The old inn is as I remembered, cheerful bedside flowers, curtains reaching their hems out to greet me, blowing into the room, heralds of the roaring sea just outside.
Rushing in, rushing out, cleansing, restoring.
Eternally beckoning.
The afternoon storms depart after painting the skies with the colours of Easter. Sand like a lilac mirror - clouds above, a celestial neighborhood of peach castles. The sea is golden and I am the only soul on the beach. I walk out in the surf until all I see is water. I could be a million miles at sea, on another continent, in another time. All has already happened, all is yet to be. I think of the great lion just now crossing the threshold, his journey completed, his laurels to come. He, too, loved the sea. All that I don’t know, he knows now. All that I can’t see, he sees.
I say goodbye to him. I say goodbye to Summer.
The sea has done its work. I feel cleansed, restored.
I am ready to go home.
Until it beckons again.

The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures. Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue."

Senator Ted Kennedy