19 June 2011


Every year he came to sit by the sea, facing the Atlantic, at the far end of the island.  Every year he told himself it would be the last year.  The cycle had gone on far too long, but old habits, like the sea itself, are hard to quit.

The hat on his head, the battered blue windbreaker, the salt-stained deck shoes: all had seen the sun rise many times over the breakers beyond 'Sconset.  The clothes had become partners with the wind curling in off the ocean.  The mineral tang of salt water mixed with undertones of stone and decay as he drew slow, deep breaths.  Except for the languid motion of his chest and the occasional blink of rimed eyes behind the obsidian-colored sunglasses wrapping his face, he gave the appearance of being a statue.

The statue sat very still.  He amused himself with the thought that he had become one of those stone Buddhas he admired in Japanese gardens.  For  a few moments, he smiled, serene and and unflappable.

The waves smashed liquidly along the shingle, tinged with the salmon and peach of the newly rising sun.  A necklace of seaweed knitted a fish-scale edge along the sand.  Two seagulls pecked enthusiastically at one pile, and he could see the remains of a fish woven into the tangled mass of dying vegetation.  The sight made him sad, and he turned his attention back to the sun.

It oozed over the horizon, its royal face striped by three thin clouds.  The rich luminescence intensified as more of the disk rose above the water.  The blue-green mirror of the sea flared into a hammered sheet of rosy gold, and the man drew a sharp breath.  The aureate air surrounded him and he felt himself as weightless, rising slowly above the cool sand, yet rooted to the ground.  Small tears formed in the corners of his eyes, the sun and the sky diffracting into tiny rainbows.  His heart swelling, and for the first time in nearly a decade, he smiled.

Next year,  he said to no one, I'll be back next year.

Below him on the shingle, the gulls flapped and bickered.  The sun continued its low arc up the sky, and the beauty of the world engulfed him.


  1. The beauty of the world is right there waiting to engulf each of us.

  2. Ahhhhh I do love your writing.. :) beautiful

  3. i like him. enjoying the miraculousness of nature is the best way to experience bliss and you describe it beautifully.

  4. amazing. have you written any books?


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...