To the Beach
5 Feb 2012
My usual route to the beach is barricaded this morning. I turn in the opposite direction and pull into the Headlands parking lot across from the only car in the lot. A man sits alone, listening to a book-on-tape. I keep walking. First, down the asphalt path that lines the windbreaker until I see an opening to the beach. It's still early—just after 8 a.m. The sun is above the horizon and lights the beach. This morning it is cold. My fingers are already numb. Frost covers everything. The sand. The dune grasses and milkweed pods. Even the picnic tables propped against a tree on the beach. The browns and rusts are tinged white as though a light snow came in the night. Before me, Lake Erie is faintly distinguishable from the horizon. Endless blues. Everything is silent. No wind. No people. Even the birds are still at this hour. I've anticipated this moment all week to claim this time alone.