Smells and images: exhilarating, filling, haunting.
Before, After and Now.
Snippets of memories. What happened? What didn’t? Who is to say?
Then. Buckets of sand, gulls cawing, shrieking wind and penetrating rain. Feet sink deep into cold, wet sand. Salty tide pools warmed by fading sun. Sand pushes through cracks between my toes, into my nails. I extract my toes from the sand and run to cold, crashing waves leaving icy shivers.
Rare rays that heat and surprise.
A sky awakens with wispy pinks, preparing our hearts for incoming rain
Stunted Pine trees hide creatures and forts of the past. Nature’s imperfect perfection.
Giggles. Laughs. Shouts. Cries. Powder fresh soft elbows and knees. Creaking joints and silences. Absences.
Family and place.
Then. Fingers reach into Dixie cups, gritty ash rubbed between thumbs and forefingers. No longer. Simple gifts, tosses into welcoming dunes. Beyond tears. Going back. Gone forever.
Staring into colors fading and bursting, the impending darkness of a sunset. The end for now. Nothing else to imagine but the beauty of now.
Tomorrow there may be more buckets and sand between the toes. More sunsets. More ashes.