Seduction, January 21, 2016, 7:00 a.m.

0P1A0176motherElementsRAW-cropped-auto2lightened cropped for card-medium save

On at least one star-filled morning each month, I can be found elbow-supported, wooden-railing leaning at the end of the Lighthouse Pier where I gaze toward the sand-duned line along the southernmost end of Salt Run. There, by the light of a sun that has yet to crest those sandy ridges, night’s quiet transformation into day occurs so swiftly that my brain can but register its changes as stop motion animation: changes in the sky where yellow intrudes upon dark charcoals, diluting them into steely blues; changes that brighten and polish smooth patches of water so that channel markers and mooring floats might reflect upon their states; and changes that shear night’s veil guarding a secured ketch till the boat’s emerging beauty seduces me once again.

 

Surfer

Surfer
I hurried to his side as soon as I saw him standing by the water’s edge. He looked to be in serious trouble. He was bent over, face down, palms on knees. He breathed heavily, noisily as he inhaled, his mouth O-shaped, lips extended. His body moved with his breathing.

He must have sensed my presence because eventually he spoke, but head still facing the sand and only when exhaling, his words whisper-riding each puff of air. I had to move closer and bend further down to hear them.

– Big wave!
– Got tossed!
– Board tore loose!
– Rip current!
– Back in!
– Got board!

Without looking up, he pointed to a surfboard that lay in the sand some paces away.

I asked him then what I could do to help him, but he shook his head. Eventually, his breathing slowed. He pushed himself up off his knees. He adjusted his suit. He looked at me and smiled briefly. Then he walked slowly to his surfboard, picked it up, and tucked it under his left arm. He walked back into the surf.

 

Note from the St. Augustine Waterfront

BoatinMorningTwilight for card-can print any size

Since moving to this town by the sea, I have become attracted to sights of sailboats moored in calm harbor waters during the minute or two before night disappears into the advancing day. At those times, I am filled with a quiet certainty that passing fancies of mine involving some derring-do are both possible and advisable. For good or bad, such notions invariably fade as the light strengthens.