The Nothing

Agate's Beach on a foggy afternoon (the Nothing comes ashore)

Fog came ashore and erased the landscape.
The Pacific Ocean faded to a band of foam where waves still managed to reach the slate gray sand.

Standing on the ridge overlooking Agates’ Beach, I saw the sheer bluff melt into light gray immateriality.
A couple on the beach walked straight into the fog’s embrace and disappeared.

I was alone in the world.
Would the erasing force reach my feet, my legs, my heart?

I knew why the fog happened.
I knew nothing would happen to me.
Not there, at least. Not then.

Yet, I was like a child dreaming of being in the fantasy novel she had just read, in which The Nothing advanced and erased the world.
I saw The Nothing. I felt it, as a cool blade of breeze drew the outline of my spine.

Would I wake up in a different universe to realize I had been dreaming the Earth, the ocean, my life?

I jogged away from the lookout, towards the park’s exit.
The fog gained ground behind me.

© 2015-2024 Simona Carini

On the bluff, in the wind

Indian paintbrush blooming on the bluff (Mendocino Headlands) At the edge of the bluff, the gaze glides down towards the ocean shimmering deep blue under a bright summer sky. It stops at the tuft of Indian paintbrush blooming brilliant red half-way down, a small fire, burning heatless on the steep sandy slope.

The Indian paintbrush is not the only plant surviving in the harsh environment,
scorched by the mid-day sun that has burned off the nightly fog,
shaken by the wind that accompanies the fog daily mass migration to and from the coast,
splashed by the salt spray the ocean showers when it pounds the shore.

But among the gravity-defying bluff flora, the Indian paintbrush is the plant that most assertively heeds its urge to bloom, bursting into flames of flowers. It doesn’t wait for something to change its surroundings, doesn’t try to move elsewhere. It sings its colorful song today on this rocky stretch of California coast.

The place or the time not being right for the blooming burning inside me is an excuse easy to make. The Indian paintbrush turns that excuse into sand. Where my feet are now and when I breathe this breath are as right a place and time as there will ever be. I look at the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean marbled with streaks of white foam.

I breathe in the cool coastal air carrying the taste of salt and seaweeds. Like the Indian paintbrush, I cannot imagine a better place or a better time.

© 2015-2024 Simona Carini