Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 6: Beach

Out birding with a friend along the coast south of Portland. The morning began with snow showers, but most of the day was graced with blue sky and the glare of sun on the water. At Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth, where long lines of rocks stretch into the sea, we watched colorful Harlequin Ducks bob in the surf and Purple Sandpipers crowd onto rockweed-adorned ledges exposed by the tide. At Two Lights State Park, more ducks, some Razorbills, a kittiwake flying off in the distant shimmer.

At Higgins Beach the ebbing tide revealed a long sandy beach. Some dogs romped after a ball, and a man tried to launch a big yellow box kite into the sea breeze. As my friend scanned the waves for birds, I had the sudden impulse to walk on the sand all the way out to the water's edge. I was reminded how last year about this time I experienced such calm joy walking the warm sands of a beach on Florida's Atlantic coast, past fishermen, surfers, and standing flocks of terns. For a few minutes today, even in Maine's chilly sunlight, I felt that same happy peace.

Expanse of sand and sea--
the mind opens
to let in peace.

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