Atlantic Beach

For Merrill’s prompt for dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday – Nature, lost and found

Atlantic Beach
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

The ocean waves go in and out with a soft shushing sound. It is just after sunrise and the tide is out. I walk along the strip of shells and seaweed left behind as the tide went out. I look down carefully, trying to spy the rare shell or sand dollar that floated in over the top of the detritus. Gulls wheel overhead and dive down occasionally catching a fish. Into my bucket it put a couple of Atlantic boats, some pencil shells, a rare whole scots bonnet, and a moon shell. On top of the pile, I gently place three sand dollars, whole. After half a mile I sit down to take a rest and drink from my water bottle. I am proud of it because it is a vacuum bottle, bright purple, and not plastic.

Watching the tide come in is exciting. The waves thunder in and the soon the water line is at the bottom of my feet. The line of shells and other items become caught in the waves and washed out to sea. I move farther up on the beach. The sand is golden and cool from the night and the sea oats wave in the breeze. I think about things sitting there. The sky is purest blue and the water deep green. I finally stand walk back the way I came. This is truly magic, this ocean. No one is around to disrupt the not-silence. No houses, no hotels, no piers. I stop and pour my shells back into the ocean. Who am I to keep these gifts that I am so unworthy of? Let them be gifted to one more worthy than I.
early morning –
gifts returned gratefully –
ocean accepts them


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. merrildsmith
    Jun 24, 2019 @ 20:44:18

    Just after sunrise at the beach–yes, definitely magical. I like the “not-silence.” That is so true.


  2. larry trasciatti
    Jun 24, 2019 @ 20:49:03

    nice use of imagery


  3. Frank Hubeny
    Jun 24, 2019 @ 23:51:51

    I like how the ocean accepted the shells again.


  4. msjadeli
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 00:54:52

    So meditative and so well-written.


  5. Jane Dougherty
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 09:35:10

    How lovely to be able to take the ocean’s gifts and hand them back. Shells look so much prettier in the water anyway.


  6. rivrvlogr
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 10:00:12

    Your closing is perfect. It was where my thoughts were going as I read this, as if you were reading my mind.


  7. Jane Swanson
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 11:58:55

    I do miss those solitary times on the beach.


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 16:15:40

    To hand back those gifts is such a lovely way to live… everything is just borrowed.


  9. Tranature - quiet moments in nature
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 16:56:52

    A beautiful haibun Toni and I love the exchange of gifts between you and the ocean 🙂💜🐚 xxx


  10. Lona Gynt
    Jun 27, 2019 @ 22:21:03

    Makes me think of Morrow’s “Gifts of the Sea.” the prose has a tidal rhythm. Very nice.


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