July 29, 2014
Atcha Ta Aye
I woke up this morning in a little fishing village in the Pacific Northwest, on land where the Quileute people have lived since the beginning of time. Ocean waves swept across the beach outside my window, leaving smooth wet sand. It was only 5:30 am, but my body was still on east coast time, so I slipped out of bed, pulled on some clothes, and went outside to explore.
Mine were the only footprints on the beach. Seagulls screeched over the rhythm of the waves. Huge bleached logs — whole trees some of them — lined the edge of the beach, creating lovely seats and shelters and forts for kids to play in. Across the water, out beyond the breaking waves, tall rock islands stood like guardians to this cove. They are sacred islands, where ancestors are buried and spirits roam.
I wandered along the beach and over to the marina, where some of the fishing boats were just leaving for the day. A thick fog clung to the shore. On the far side of the harbor, I saw some harbor seals, ducking in and out of the grey water. When a slight breeze came out, the rigging of the boats clinked and chimed. I passed a man about my father’s age, wearing a heavy coat and carrying a bucket. He nodded and smiled at me as I went past with my camera. Near the Coast Guard dock, two young men in uniform were walking out, just about to start their shift. By the time I walked back, cutting through the little village, the single yellow school bus was weaving its way down the street.
Posted by jo(e)