I love fog.
So when I biked the boards recently, I was pleased to see the pale veil over Long Beach shore.
Hundreds of gulls nestled in the sand…
…then rose, a flutter in the mist.
A portal of light brought heaven to Earth and a wave of gulls arced the silver sea.
The sun splashed in ribbons, each a mirror of the other—as a rhyme upon the brine.
Fog adds to the poem of the sea…
…add silver, for majesty.
But when a verse of gulls flutters through for me…
The closer I watched the ode unfold the more I became a part. A sensation arose in my chest, a feeling that I could evaporate into this ether. I knew I wasn’t just seeing, or experiencing the poem—i was of the poem.
Yes, this transfixion sounds familiar to you, dear followers. But presence in the everyday, to see unlabeled, uninterpreted, the moment before me, takes me from the everyday to the wonder.
And when I return to the everyday, I am refreshed. So I make presence routine, just as a swim, a bike ride, or stroll on the boards. I need presence to—unmind.
Those near me ignored this poetry of light. The poem, for many, a TV commercial in the drama of life; a distraction to be tuned out, so as to focus on politics, COVID, and financial distress. And for others, relationships, sex, body mass index—and sex.
It was as if I had a “sixth sense” as did the lad in that movie. Only I could see heaven’s gate on our shore.
Now, I’m sure some did a glance-and-nod at the vista. Other might have paused and absorbed a few moments too. But none of our simian tribe near me did. I had no one to share—this misty air.
Some did tai chi; others jogged, biked or did the walk-and-talk. None ceased their jogs, dismounted their bikes or muted their chats.
People have lives, I know: jobs, errands, appointments, exercise schedules. But to pause and immerse, to take a moment’s unmind, brings more energy, more peace, to those dramas of life.
I looked at the terraces. No residents hung over tony railings, no calling grandkids to see this ode to ocean life. And behind those tinted windows? More TV news than celestial views?
I felt like calling out, “How can you ignore this bride’s-veil fog? This splashing of sun on sea? These gliding gulls in front of me?
But I didn’t. I didn’t want another ride to the insane asylum.
But then I saw him. There were no others on the line of benches.
He sat quietly, without camera, without iPhone, without binoculars; a man armed only with his eyes—and presence. At last, a brother ape—to share.
Our country’s madness, brings much sadness.
But we will overcome, as we’ve alway’s done.
So keep your sanity,
and join with me,
where gulls fly free,
over the silver sea.