It’s wet again, pouring rain and the sky is dark, dark gray.
Two four year olds dressed as only four year old girls can…in tights and tutus and fairy wings…are laughing up into the pour. They have giant umbrellas, one red and one black with white polka dots. Soaked, they live in the joy of rain and tulle and twirling umbrellas. They dance across the sand, and as children do best, live in the present. I am caught up. I’m going to do what they remind me I can do…I’m going to reach backward into childhood when living in the moment is the way one lives.
I step outside and refuse to look past the slash of rain, the dark sky, and peeling wind. I put myself in the wild beauty; in the moment. I would love to dance in a tutu with fairy wings, but choose another love, my camera. The waves are roaring and compressed. I concentrate on capturing them as they crest again and again against the sky. Through the lens, I see the wind ripping foam from their tops and I focus on the lace patterns sliding down their faces. The raw power hurls toward me, raging through the drowned forest in the foreground.
Thwack!!! I am knocked over, my camera and tripod fly. Adrenalin pumps as I think I have been hit by a sneaker wave, but instead, I have been hit by a huge, friendly dog. As it licks me an elderly man stumbles up, apologizing. I assure him that I am fine and eventually, he asks me about the stumps. He has come down to investigate what he thought were rocks. I explain the drowned forest, the earthquake and tsunami that buried it. How many centuries ago? And how does one know? I tell him of native American accounts, core borings of the stumps and reports of the tsunami in Japanese stories. Time, history, the past. He tells me he is here to celebrate his birthday, to recapture some memories of the coast. Years, calendars, dates, milestones and markers; things we use to measure and things against which we are measured.
Today I want to escape the burden of those measures and as he leaves with the dog, I raise my camera and slip back into the present. The sky is clearing and the light is glazing the cresting waves. And far, far down the beach two fairies dance in the sand.