Spring days used to always smell like this. Of seaweed-tangled mussels at low tide. Of cat-tail smoke and creosoted piers. Of salt.
And beyond the ticky-tack of the boardwalk, I'd wander the dunes until sunset. Blanket in hand, I'd crawl across the sand to lie in the sun's last rays where seagulls circled and circled overhead.
Returning to the faces that had worried away the afternoon, I'd offer up the day's harvest of sea glass, fingers aching with grit and salt, forgiven for not being lost.
But I was lost. Wandering after whatever it was in the cool spring air that made the gulls call to me, joyfully following their shallow tracks in sand and sky. Something... there was so much I wanted then. I didn't know what, only that when most alone, under the guise of beach walking, silence would tell me what I listened for.
I'm still wandering into spring afternoons after old scents and old sounds; as if one could open the past for me and let me find the girl that wanders there.
Today I thought about salt and how my life could be clean and simple if I reduce it all to salt; how I'll be able to talk to someone without going from pure joy to silence. And touch someone without going from truth to concealment. Salt is the only thing that lasts here at the shore. It gets into everything, your hair, eyes, clothes.
I like to think of myself turned to salt and all that I love turned to salt. To think of walking down to the beach, stepping on the backs of a million dead clams and how gray can be so beautiful. How if you aren't careful, you can just walk right into that alluring current and imagine what lies in a horizon you never knew was there, where the gray from the sky and the gray from the sea meet. Looking over the Atlantic at the edge of the continent, you can see all this crashing at your feet in cold rich foam, in salt, in gray.
a return Visit
10 months ago