The Outer Banks, October 6, 2016 (Hurricane Matthew approaches)

October 31, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Standing in the surf,

in the pale gray light of dawn,

the tide is coming in,

the most primordial of timekeepers.

 

Water rushes past.

As they return to the sea, wave after wave

begins to eat away

at the loose liquid sand below.

 

Balance is required,

as grain by grain,

my foundation is eroded away.

I begin to sink under my own pressing weight.

 

Stay too long in one place,

And be buried, or drowned,

or carried out to sea

against your will.

 

It should be just physics, really.

The gravity of the moon and sun,

the turbulence of wind and waves,

and the geomorphology of the earth.

 

But in the miniature maelstrom of life,

Chaos theory reigns.

Each wave crashing, every ripple swirling,

interacts in ways that confound prediction,

propagating out in space and time,

toward an uncertain future.

 

To know the future would be to stand in place, unmoving,

ankle-deep in the thick soup of ancient earth.

To move, to adapt, is to survive,

to live to see another beautiful daybreak.

Another chance to chart a course

across the great pewter green sea,

somewhere beyond the visible horizon.

 

And yet, someone drowned yesterday.

A savior briefly held his hand,

but opposing forces separated them,

and the man was never seen again.

 

You can drown if you stay too long in one place,

And you can drown if you venture too far.

 

A hurricane is approaching.

Stay put, ride it out, take your chances,

Or heed the red flag warnings, pull your feet out of the sand,

And head for higher ground.

 

My internal compass spins erratically.

North or south?

Stay or leave?

Sink or swim?

 


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