Sunday, August 8, 2010

the edge of everything

Once upon a time,
a family went to the beach.

It was beautiful, but very windy and very cold!

The family set off, bracing themselves against the chill,
and perhaps they all thought this was going to be

a Very Short Walk.

But just then,
the boy and the dog found a path

heading into the dunes and away from the wind…

The family decided to go up the path,

with the sea roaring behind them,

not knowing what they might see

or what they might find.

They found another path,

that curved in an S,

through yellow, wind-bent grass and around dense bushes…

Which led to another path,

heading up.

The family was intrigued!

They climbed until they reached the top and saw…

a beautiful view.

The grown-ups said Ooh, and Ahh.

The children (and dog) scrambled,

and wandered,

and gazed.

But they weren't finished!

No, the family was bewitched,

by the twisting paths and the endless view.

So on they wandered…

through dense bush and brambly bits,

past discoveries green

and black

and yellow.

The boy was the leader. (Well, after the dog).
He had worn his shorts so his legs got scratched, but only a little.

The woman was next.
She wanted to keep going, keep going, around just one more bend.

The girl thought she was getting left behind (but only a little).

The man was peaceful.

The dog was happy beyond belief.

It seemed they were wandering with no purpose or plan.

But just then they all stopped, because they saw

something lovely.

And they were at the edge of everything and anything was possible.

They also, quite suddenly,
could go no further.

Their path was gone.

And they saw that they were far from the sea.

The woman said, Oh, the sun is setting!

And the girl said, I want to go back!

(Because she thought they might get lost
in the brambly dark)

But there was nothing to fear,

because they remembered the way back.

Past the bushes and bits,
past the discoveries, green black and yellow,
following the footprints they had left in the sand.

they saw another,

previously ignored path

that would take them back
to the sea.

They followed it,
down and down and around bends,
and the roar of the waves grew louder
and louder

they were at the bottom of the dune again.

Where they found four new paths.

One going


One going


One going East

And one going

(which was the way they had just come but it still looked so inviting)

And all they had to do was choose.


  1. Thanks for the walk- it was nicer than the short one I took today around the block!

  2. Lovely photo-story - made me feel as if I'd gone with you!

  3. A beautiful essay--poetry, really. I'm smiling now, feeling peaceful. Thank you.


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