Walking. With very faint, very human(s).

Michael Ondaatje: “Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human.”

5:55 a.m. 340 consecutive days. Like in a row. Morning walk. This morning, Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk. Dark Sky: 48° F. 96% cloud cover.

I walk.

6:01 a.m. Up ahead. Tall, lanky, young and solo. Hat pulled down over his ears. Shoulders sagging, heavy step. Not looking at skyline, head bowed. I stretch my gait to trace his steps, shoes sink in wet sand at low tide, my step, shoe size, almost a match. Ember from his cigarette glows in twilight, he flicks it away, and tucks both hands deep into his pockets. Mary Oliver: “When one is alone and lonely, the body gladly lingers in the wind or the rain…anything that touches.

6:13 a.m. Runner, unmasked, aggressively approaching in my lane on sidewalk. Shouting something, lips moving, but inaudible through my AirPods. “Did you get the sunrise on Wednesday?” He’s like inside of 3 feet, well inside of my personal space. And, it’s Saturday, like 3 days later, it’s near 100% overcast this morning, and I’ve never seen him before in my life. Have I somehow lost a day, or two? And, what was that, that hit my chin, spittle from his mouth, rain droplet or gull deposit?

He continues. “It was amazing!” I nod, smile back. He keeps running. It was amazing.

6:15 a.m. Two on the beach, shoeless, covered in a blanket. Giggling. Waving wands, soap bubbles rising, drifting then disappear. They dip the wands and repeat, giggling.

6:18 a.m. A familiar fellow walker is taking a shot of something in the tree. I look up to see a squirrel gnawing at a red apple, cheeks full. I keep walking, turn back, and see him toss another apple to his bushy friend.

6:20 a.m. Walker. Tall galoshes. Masked. With Goggles. Alien. I try to make eye contact — what kind of human is armoured up like this? She avoids eye contact and continues down the pier.

I walk.

6:23 a.m. I approach the rock breakwall in front of the pier. Normal human with deep hamstring pull would avoid all risks and walk around the breakwall to the sidewalk. But that would take time, and I’d miss the sunrise. Seven to eight flat rocks, Max. I used to run full tilt over stones far smaller and wetter than these. Full tilt. Without a bobble. Let’s go. I didn’t see the black algae coating. Left foot sets down on first rock, and finds nothing solid. And I begin to slide, and panic, pulling the right foot up to balance. Both give out.

At this point you hope for the best. Which would be falling on your a**, avoiding further hamstring tears, and destroying your camera gear. Or somehow managing to stay upright, sliding to the next stone, hoping it’s dry, and all your sh*t remains intact.

And on this day, as luck (faith?) would have its way, the next rock was bone dry. Wow. Miracle. All of it. Salvaged, somehow. I pause, catching my breath, and look up at the Pier, where Goggle Lady is looking down at me.

Who’s laughing now?

Joy Harjo: “If all events are related, then what story does a volcano erupting in Hawaii, the birth of a woman’s second son near Gallup, and this shoulderbone of earth made of a mythic monster’s anger construct? Nearby a meteor crashes. Someone invents aerodynamics, makes wings. The answer is like rushing wind: simple faith.


Photos: DK & Daybreak. April 9, 2021. Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT.

Comments

  1. Your narrow escape brought to mind my husband’s fall some years back in Nevis. He’s walking down a wet, rocky path after ‘the perfect shot.’ Feet shoot out from under him, he’s determined to protect his (then) new Nikon D800, so holds the camera way up in the air and comes down, *hard* on his hip, right on a big rock. I held my breath, certain I had just witnessed a seriously bad break a ferry ride and two plane trips from home. He yelled, hobbled to his feet, checked his camera over to make sure it was OK, and pronounced the whole experience ‘a close call.’ :-O

    The Texas-size black bruise that bloomed on his thigh and backside over the ensuing 48 hours bore witness to just how close. A few inches either way and I’m sure the ending would have been markedly different. Ahhh, memories.

    At that closing quote, pal? Breathtaking….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And SO GLAD that you’re OK…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    So true, right? … Joy Harjo: “If all events are related, then what story does a volcano erupting in Hawaii, the birth of a woman’s second son near Gallup, and this shoulderbone of earth made of a mythic monster’s anger construct? Nearby a meteor crashes. Someone invents aerodynamics, makes wings. The answer is like rushing wind: simple faith.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You were lucky!! Love your detailed observations. And it can all happen in a New York minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you’re okay! And your equipment, too! I generally have stuff that swings around to my back (binocular case, point’n’ shoot), in case I have to surprise! all-fours it over beach rocks. I figure the firsts of upright mankind did the same ( = 0 shame! ).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking, and in Central Park, you get rain instead of sunshine.’ Love this observation. I think if we slow down enough, stop and listen each day, we will recognise and become present to omens, messages and the right people to guide us to the next step. And perhaps not the next slide down the hill ha! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The unraveling of observations … when we are not wrapped up in our own small stuff … is wonderful. And always worth sharing. Thank you Dave 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So enjoyed each observation and comment…and the photo of couple on the beach (I’m like a child who loves illustrations–the imagination works fine, but result is so different.) Such relief that your adventure ended with no damage to your body or gear! (…and what led to this almost disaster? in a hurry and well I used to be able to…….).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael Zahaby says:

    Glad you’re safe. My bid is that It was “meant” for you to be ok. Be careful out there

    Liked by 1 person

  10. my favorites in your parade today were the bubblers in the blanket. happy and free. glad you survived another near misadventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I wonder who would have come to your rescue if you had fallen.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah D, the butterfly effect in real time…how absolutely glorious (yes, glorious) each photo…Your competitive edge appears even in such beauty – you hav to hurry to get to the sunrise, for the sunrise can’t wait for you. And Mother Nature giggled and offered you a reminder of the consequences of such haste. Glad you’re ok and so greatly appreciate these last 340 days – in a row – no break – ….

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love these posts of yours (especially when there is a happy ending. I’m sure your heart first skipped a beat then thumped loudly). Love your use of quotes. Always a propos

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant read.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sorry for the muscle tear. Ouch. Yet your observations are keen as ever. Wonderful. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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