Shoreline Muse

Posted: April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty.                     

I was at the Ocean recently (the Atlantic, to be specific). Listening to the waves is universally Imagewonderful. While at the beach, I spent every possible moment within earshot of the waves. I rose early and bundled on a deck chair at dawn. All day, I kept opening the door to hear to the enchanting crash.

At the earliest moment, I took a walk on the beach, toes in squishy sand and frothy sea. Although the air and water were cold, I couldn’t resist the temptation; I waded in waist-deep and let the water pull me forth and back, the waves undulating, pressing me across the floor like an expert dancer. The ocean can move whatsoever it chooses: the shells, the algae, the fish, and the land. The oceanic rhythm compels us all.

Natural things dominate the beach; humans are merely visitors. I encountered the familiar sea Imagebirds. I said, “Hello, birdie,” as I watched a sand piper walk briskly in and out of the waves. Greeting animals is not an unusual practice for me. I speak to animals when I feel the urge to do so, usually when we are alone together, the animals and I. Like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, I “bless them” nearly unaware.

I think about what the birds believe about humans. Maybe they go back to their nests and chatter amongst themselves about our peculiar behavior.  Perhaps the bird I greeted will turn to his friend and say, “I saw the most amazing human the other day.”

Birds must have their own words to name and describe humans: heavy, lumbering, wingless creatures that we are. Are we the giants who populate their myths? I imagine scholarly birds studying the strange and wonderful migratory patterns of humans, deeming our movements bizarre and unfathomable. Could it be that our shrieks of delight, our playful entreaties, our amorous murmurs, are, to avian ears, as delightfully lovely as birdsong?


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