It was late in the afternoon on Friday, and Jay headed to work. After a no-school day, Zack and I needed to do something to get out of the house. First choice? The beach.
We made it just about sunset and the Olympic Mountain Range across the water was stunning. I thought about my friend vacationing in Hawaii and her daily Facebook posts of the view outside her condo. Though she was enjoying quite a bit more warmth, this view was breathtaking, too. There is so much beauty in our world.
“Zack, look at the mountains? Aren’t they beautiful?” I said.
“Ferry boat,” he replied.
“That’s cool, too,” I agreed, but I continued to rave about the glory of the water and the sunset and the mountains.
Eventually, Zack started raving, too. The words weren’t clear, but the inflections in his voice matched mine and I knew he had gotten the message. We live in a magnificent area and we are thankful for it.
The ferry was loading and we had the perfect view of its engines churning up the water while it pulled away from the slip. We sat for a long while after it left and watched the sky change colors. I studied the light reflecting on mountains and water as Zack kept up a steady stream of chatter. Nearby, two young boys sat on tall pilings and a photographer snapped shot after shot, seeking that instant of brilliance those of us who take photos never tire of pursuing.
Finally, I said, “Is it time for Chipotle?” and Zack said, “Yes.” We retraced our steps across the sand and headed to our favorite burrito place.
I wrote this poem two years ago about another hour at the beach with my son.
Edmonds Beach with Zack
I walk the curb
between you and traffic
my mind flashing neon to a decade past
and a parking lot when you were eight,
it only takes one car.
I walk driftwood logs
as we soak in wind and sun
an uneven path to the beach
that you—yes you—
requested with one word: water.
I walk with an eye on railroad tracks,
please God, no train today
no blasting horns
to make you scream
and run for cover.
I walk upright
your hand heavy
on my shoulder,
I am your safety
in a world that buffets.
I walk with purpose
nothing will ruin this moment
this broadening of life
with fits and starts
and ferry boat rides.