Dawn clouds are thick and heavy, releasing horizon drizzle over beach dunes, my beach dunes that gaze at the waves. After watching the moon set, then the sun rise, my eyes feel strange and blurry in the misty morning, but Iím calm and awake: tranquil even, with the beach creatures I inhabit the sand with. The cold morning rays yawning over the city behind my back gives me a sudden burst of energy and I hop forward down off the dunes fifteen feet to the beach-sand below, sprint to the surf, then turn and run back up the dunes twenty feet. Smell the salt and sand and whale-shit washed up and you know youíre at the beach, Ďcause when youíre hopping on top those sandy windswept mountains you feel like you can damn well fly if you only look high enough but always come rolling down in flurry of sand (then itís sand in the ears, eyes, nose, sand in the mouth, shoes, shirt, sand in the hair and underwear, until sand becomes part of your biology). I tramp back towards my house, towards the beach-free day, certain that I would be back in the afternoon; because Morning Beach and Afternoon Beach are two different worlds, and Afternoon Beach is my Garden of Eden, my paradise: riveted sands with sharp shadows, baobab sentinels standing watch on an ice plant cliff over moon-dirt beach and lapping waves, terrain of the sand piper, where sunsets spills and reflects over the wet sand, and silhouettes of the duskís beachgoers parade with formation flocks of pelicans, seagulls, and crows. The air is cutting brisk with anticipation of the nighttime bonfires, the hearths of heat in squares of logs that glimmer for miles down-beach. And after the bonfires die (approximately three hours past midnight), I wait the night out: sitting, thinking, dreaming, gazing at the stars, adventuring through the dunes, until I can watch the moon set, then the sun rise.
------- Author's Notes -------
A portrait of the beach that I'm so attached to; just a few blocks from my house...
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