Cerulean was the word for the sky this morning, without a cloud in it. The breeze was cool-ish but pleasantly so. I went out early to walk the two mile circuit of Long Beach. The ebb tide was at its most distant so the beach was wide. As I walked along the inlet side I was alone until I noticed someone sitting at on one of the private piers. When I got closer I saw it was a woman who had her back to me. Two little white dogs were sitting quietly near her. I approached and the poodle barked sharply. She was deep into a cell phone conversation although she took a moment to say to the dog, "Alfie!" He stopped barking and I walked on listening to some of the birds. The nesting areas have been marked off as they are each spring. They are probably sitting on their nests, as only a few songs were heard and none were flying around to distract me from their nestlings.
At the far corner of the spit of land I saw a man fishing a little distance out and then I saw a rowboat pulled upon the sand and held by an anchor dug into the higher sand. There were no oars as far as I could see. I saw barefoot prints going into the scrub of marsh grass. The sea has changed the end of the spit over the winter, carrying off some of the battered low shrubs after tearing away the sand they were growing in. Further around, where the shrubs remain, on the ocean side, but in a spot that was protected from the breeze, sat a man in a half lotus position, meditating. He wore no shirt, he was possibly 60 or 65, had a paunchy belly and jowly face with a bristly white mustache and thinning white hair on his head. His eyes were peacefully closed and his hands clasped each other loosely in his lap. I don't believe he saw me, some six feet away. I was nearly abreast his place before I saw him because he was quite near the shrubs. So I did not stop to stare in case some sense would tell him a person was disturbing his solitude. I just walked on down the ocean side watching the gulls, mostly floating a short distance out, one with a crab in its mouth walked up the beach away from me.
I thought the three of us in the one area each stood for something very 21st century-ish. Three uses for a piece of nature, three different ways of living that one beautiful morning.
Vidya Sundar paints - SILENT SONGS IX
2 hours ago