It was late December, a bright and sunny day – Christmas day and his kids were away and his sometimes girlfriend was away a free day he thought so he went to the beach, the beach with the boardwalk through the dunes and the castle the one he went to on hot summer days sometimes crowded.

The parking lot was near empty and it was cold so he layered up and ran down to the beach and the ocean was wide and the sun bright so bright with silver waves not too windy and the far horizon expansive a blue grey seascape simplified there for him to enter with a shifting breeze immersed in an open place of peace and mystery so different than the town he lived and worked in with cramped rooms cave like winter enclosures with conversations and messages that crisscrossed and confused him sometimes.

The sand was flat like a canvas a beach canvas with broken sand dollars slipper shells sea stars angel wings and dulce on the flat background down the beach he went with a pocket camera taking pics of the beach canvas expansive expanding in a different way than the blue grey horizon down the beach he went and it was good sometimes running slowly keeping his Sciatica at bay warming up and he went farther around the bend farther than he’d been since he was with his old girlfriend, a real amore mio, the one he fell in love with instantly, Stella from NY remembering the first pic of her at the bar with a slight smile something in her look a toughness and beauty and intelligence that pierced him and obsessed him for years and was still a part of him and he rounded the point with no one in sight and saw the island like a perfect painting of a farmhouse and field and woods and the calm inlet with birds and he sat and looked out on the marsh closing eyes listening with only the rising tide and almost warm sun on his face with woes fading like pebbles washed at the oceans edge disappearing into the sea, no matter – nothing more to remember peaceful.

your eyes
and wander free
in this land of
sky and

Then waking and walking and sometimes running slowly back staying warm with more pics it had been one, two maybe three hours on the beach he wasn’t sure and groups of people walking past him now people absorbed in conversation who had opened presents earlier in red and white rooms with green tannenbaums families enwrapped in familyhood and he on his own like always not wanting to be known today wanting to be with the sky and sea and sand, a beautiful world a special day in different ways no need for words with the endless sky and sun and blue grey horizon.

Closer to the boardwalk now and the parking lot and his car up the wooden steps noticing a guy with a dog and a woman and then she swerves from behind him and it’s Stella and she says hi or something he couldn’t tell and then she’s past him walking on the beach with her new guy and he sees her perfect parka plum colored walking away a flash of connection and memories of her sweet smile and morning gazes and sorrows and romancings and breakups and back togethers, remembering it all in an instant then gone under the milky white sky and windswept sand and blue green sea, watching her walk off down the beach quiet no words to say.