Dashed on the Rocks

By Matthew Anish

We sat down on the rocks which jutted out from the beach. Yes, and it was a nice fall day - the air had a tinge of winter in it. The salt air filled our lungs as we watched the tide roll in. Perhaps we should have taken solace in the fact that all is impermanent - everything changes. The wild surf reinforced the truism that we are still at the mercy of the elements. A brief movement and then everything comes to a close. But near the water that day we had a remarkable revelation.

We walked together near the pounding surf. Our eyes met just for a moment. We could hear the waves as they crashed on the shore. Our minds were as one. Our thoughts blended together like colors on a palette.A gull flew overhead and traced out a pattern in the sky. Only a brief dialogue with nature - and yet.....

She took a long time to gather her thoughts before she spoke. "Listen" she said. "You know that we are near our primeval home - the ocean. If we try perhaps we can find meaning before night falls." "Well, at least we'll experience the waning of the year together" Near the water a small shelled being crawled slowly in the sand. "You know"- she replied " Light is reflected by the sea. We can only experience the outer edge of reality. Piercing through to the core is denied us. If we don't hurry we'll miss nature's show." I saw her light up. "It seems" she said "that the birds are part of the cosmic dance." The gulls were flying lazy patterns overhead. They formed a circle in mid - air. Suddenly one of them dove down into the water. The winged hit the ocean with a splash and cam up with his prize - a large fish. The other gulls continued to hover.

I mentioned that I was beginning to think that the reality of Plato's cave applied to our situation. A thin smile crossed her face. Perhaps, I surmised, this area represents the beginning of things. If that is the case then we are in for more than we bargained for. I looked out at the waves and tried to imagine how they looked to the ancients. The sea - lords of old offered mankind a symbol to grasp. But now? All of our scientist seem to agree that the ocean is just a collection of atoms spinning around.

In the dying light of day I breathed in the salt air deeply. The light of the dying sun lit up the rocks and the sand surrounding us. Soon we'd experience the joy of a thousand stars as they appear in the night sky. She shifted her gaze from the ocean to the sand. Her gray eyes took in the scene and she made her peace with oncoming evening. "Perhaps" I suggested to her " We should stay a little while longer. Do you think it would be right to leave before nightfall?" "Oh" she replied "I don't know. Perhaps we should seek peace by the shore tonight." I became quiet and felt the sand beneath my feet. We walked by the shoreline together. In the distance a sailboat was gliding over the dark waters. We stopped and strained our eyes to see it. It was just a small thing on the horizon but we were transfixed. Perhaps our journey had just begun.

(C)opyright 2007 Matthew Anish All Rights Reserved

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