Sunday, January 6, 2013

January beach walk

This one is for me...

Yes, we saw a great egret and a great blue heron within minutes, but to say as much is to reduce a walk to calisthenics, marking off species as we mark off steps, as though numbers make our accomplishments more accomplished.

 I just want to walk into the wonder.

When I watch a great egret pick its way through the edge of the reeds, moving like a lizard, until a flash of white as it stabs at yet another fish, I am not thinking "Eastern Great Egret, check!"--I'm not thinking at all.

I may be happiest when I am not thinking, and I've gotten pretty good at not thinking. Not thinking as the sun sinks below the edge of our bay. Not thinking as I trim the last of this summer's Brussels sprouts. Not thinking as I nibble on a piece of garlic.

In January, the dead dominate the beach. Shells cast long shadows even at noon. January's filmy sunlight filters what can we see, what we can know.

There's no pretending how things will end, and that's OK.

We are alive for now.

Triple sun dog kind of day...


Susan Eckert said...

Lovely post. Seems rather anti-birder to me, you have something against birders and their need to make lists???


doyle said...

Dear Susan,

Nothing against birders, truly, but the "need" to make lists makes me nervous.

Folks from all over the world come to Cape May to see the remarkable array of birds we have, and most of them, no doubt, are fine folks who just like looking at birds.

My suspicion, though, is that maybe a few of them come just to get those checks on the list. What do I know? I could watch a grackle for hours and hours and hours.

Anonymous said...

I was privileged enough to spend time with friends in Anzo-Borrego desert state park only two days ago (and now I'm back in Michigan in the snow).
There is something comforting in being reminded of my insignificance. It doesn't really matter what i do, or how badly i screw up, or where I am on any list: look at the immensity of what is, and I'm as insignificant as a dot on the i.
And planes are also amazing.