Beautiful Day Blues


The massive orb dominates the aqua crystalline backdrop of its own making, floods its rays on everything below. The sky devoid of a single cloud seems as empty as I feel and the beach looks like an arid desert, molded by tireless wind and blazing heat. I picture myself atop an Arabian camel, parched with thirst, crossing an unforgiving series of never-ending dunes, up one and down the next, no rhyme nor reason, only the nose of the animal in front of me.

As I walk, I find my feet drawn to stepping on shells. I like the crunch under my soles and wonder what draws me to destruction. No real gain, just a crackle and a few pops beneath my Reeboks. Hmmmm.

The half-covered shiny Coors light can contrasts with the faceless dull version that lies next to it, undoubtedly washed ashore. A half-eaten fish head sits next to a huge jellyfish obviously out of place in a world far too shallow for its survival. It sways its last moments of life with each bathing wave that push it side to side as it bakes in the sun. Soggy yellow plastic, discarded cigarette butts, even a soiled diaper that for a brief moment I entertain the thought of picking up. Normally, I would have. Not today.

Walk, walk, crunch, crunch, more broken shells. I pick up a triangular orange piece that reminds me of a shark's tooth, run my fingers along its edges to its sharp point and keep pricking my index in some warped notion of martyrdom.

I glance down the beach at a lone fisherman checking his lines. What does he see on this spectacular day? Does he pay attention to anything besides his bait on the hook? Does the serenity help his quest for meaning or simply lead him from Bud to Bud? I long for the eyes of my children, the wondrous zeal that would find magic in the beat up straw hat, the buried yellow ribbon or any stick more than two feet long, an instant conductor's wand or a spear or a trumpet or a telescope. What vision might they bring to my sight? Could I shed this morose foreboding that clings to me like an oversized sweatshirt pulled too soon from the dryer, damp, heavy, with an odd, unrecognizable, unpleasant smell?

Still, the seagull and the sandpiper frolic in the surf, peck morsels from the wet sand, bob their heads up and down and chase the waves. The majestic pelicans swoop along the shore like prehistoric predators a mere foot above the surface. The flies dart back and forth, light and take off, never at rest for more than an instant. The Labrador chases a tennis ball. The infant waddles to wet her toes. The white-haired snowbird stoops to collect a sand dollar. A crab peeks out of his hole only to retreat back in again.

Me, I walk and crunch shells, walk and crunch shells, a case of beautiful day blues?

That's A View From The Ridge...

About The Author

Author Ridgely Goldsborough invites you to subscribe to The Daily Column, a heart-felt collection of stories that inspire hope and courage. Please do so at www.aviewfromtheridge.com" target="_new">www.aviewfromtheridge.com.

ridge@aviewfromtheridge.com


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