BeachAlert File #6

On a foggy day at the beach, the fine mist covers everything.  It covers the pretty little houses lined up along the Strand.  It covers the pier.  It covers the lifeguard shacks.  It covers the line that separates the sky from the sea.  Things look very different.

On a day like this, it’s easy to convince yourself that there’s nobody around but you and the seagulls and the few hardcore surfers doing warm-up stretches on the sand beside their trusty boards while they study today’s waves.

On this particular day, the waves are high.  The breakers roar like Niagara Falls as they crash onto the shore and roll all the way up to the semi-soft sand where the happy little clams live.  Then the water rushes out again.  It is not gentle.  You can feel the pull of it around your bare ankles.

“Isn’t this a great day for the running game?” say the seagulls, as they run a long way out to snatch fast food from the receding surf and, holding it firmly in their beaks, make the long rapid run inland again to escape the next incoming wave.

“Where’s the pier?” I ask no one in particular – since if there’s anyone in particular around, they’re hidden in the mist – as I start my long walk toward my now invisible goal.  When the goal is not right in your face, the trip can be a lonely adventure.

But you know it’s there.  So you keep going, even though all your familiar landmarks are missing.  On and on you slog, through the semi-soft sand.  You can’t even see the horizon.  Disoriented in the mist, you misjudge the high-water line and get wetter than usual.

But you keep going.

Suddenly the pier looms large out of the mist.  You made it!  You win again!  All RIIIIGHT!  If there were anyone around, you’d be giving them high fives.

After this, the rest of the day is going to be a breeze.

Lynn Fountain Campbell

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