Predawn Beach Walk


Sunrise over Sea of Cortez

Predawn clouds hang heavy over the water.  The dogs and I head north along the shoreline before the sun has crested the horizon.  It is cool, moist, and quiet.  The beach near the house is deserted. Maybe the natives are taking an extra hour of sleep on this lovely Sunday morning.

The usual ‘cast of characters’ greets us.  The pelicans, the terns, the flocks of gulls.  The sea is still in the early hour.  No wind yet ruffles the surface and one could be deluded into thinking it is a lake.

Last night, lightning storms provided a brilliant display over Isla Carmen, with bolts running the length of cloud to sea.  This morning, the left-over clouds drift as if untethered from anything.

For me, this morning is a walking meditation.  I begin with gratitude – how lucky I feel for friends, family, the chance to do creative work.  Grateful for the curious life I have chiseled out of the years that allows me to experience this very moment between night and morning.  This space on the sand next to the sea.

Sorrows slide through the same thought bank.  My brother Gly’s death just two years ago still marks a hollow spot.  Yesterday would have been his 59th birthday, and I miss him.  He was a gifted musician and a full-hearted soul who lost his way in a sea of substances that eventually took his life.

As if on cue, I notice three locals who, from the looks of things, have spent the night on the beach.  The area around their car is littered with empty beer cans, but still, they party on.  One of the young men plays a guitar and the others sing.

I think of how Gly would have liked it here.  His two great loves were fishing and music.   I wish he and I could have had the time to be here together.

I shake off the sadness and remember the joyful conversation with my sister, Claudia.  It was also her birthday yesterday, and she and her husband had taken their canoe to Magic Reservoir south of Bellvue, ID where they live to celebrate. Two years ago she had been here to celebrate my mom’s birthday and mine.  Photographs from that week brighten the walls of Casa de Catalina.

A young Mexican man casts a net over a school of leaping bait fish.  When he hauls the white line back, it is filled.  Buster and Shorty stop to inspect the shimmering silvery fish that spill from the net.  “Pescaditos”(tiny fish) I tease him, and he smiles in response.

The sun inches up over the water line and a shimmer of gold light mirrors on the water’s surface.  Day has begun its spin.  The dogs and I  finish our walk at a rocky point, then turn and head for home.  We play stick toss in the water on the way back.  Shorty’s not much for swimming, but Buster thrives on leaping into the water and retrieving what he finds. He drops his ‘catch’ on the beach and barks until it is again tossed.

As my morning meditation comes to an end, I find that I am again quiet inside, filled with a sense of fullness and peace with this life .. this finding my way one footstep at a time.

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