Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts on a Cold December Day

While driving down the near vacant beach road this past week I was drawn to the sight of the beach accesses, their parking slots empty of vehicles, looking forlorn with sand creeping up the walkways and steps, nudged along by recent storms. These entry points host a promise of a path leading up and over the dune line, ghostly images of summers past lurking among the spent sea oats. What lies just over that shifting pile of sand is of course the Atlantic Ocean, but I'm never quite sure what else I'll discover. Will the sea be rough and tumble or satin smooth? Are the dolphins cruising past, trying to keep pace with the low flying line of pelicans? Is the wind causing the birds to tuck beak and bill under their wings? Are there treasures of sea glass and shells scattered along the water's edge? But with a strong northeast wind kissing my cheek, I temper my urge to explore and sit in the cocoon of my car, balancing my paints and sketchbook on the dashboard and my lap trying to capture the feeling of uncertainty before me.

December is like that brief moment before crossing over the dune, somewhat predictable yet offering a hint of tingling anticipation, hoping you'll take the bait. You can almost hear, in the gloaming of the day, the earth softly sighing, pausing in this last month of the year to catch its breath and reevaluate what has been learned over the last 11 months and pondering what the next 12 months will teach us. Just as we know the ocean is on the other side of the dunes, we can also be sure next year will bring more of the same; joy and heartache, happiness and woe, excitement as well as boredom and routine, in other words - life.  But the question in our minds is always in what format all this "life" will be presented and what the percentages will be. In this season of hope I dream of more positive than negative, more laughter than tears, all within a new layout to explore.

And finally, at my last stop, I catch a glimmer, a brief glimpse, a fleeting image of what's ahead, and it's sparkling in the December light.

Pasternak says life creates incidents to divert our attention from it so that it can get on with the work it can only accomplish unobserved.

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