Thursday, June 11

Grains of Sand

There's a feeling of consistency and security here. The Texas beach at Matagorda is my oldest home. It's the one place, this same spot on the beach, I've been coming my whole life, from a time I was younger than Ruby Jane at 5 years old, is now. Before my grandfather built this beach house, we stayed at the octagon 1970s condos next door. Before that we stayed in the town 30 minutes away at a Best Western and drove my grandparent's Suburban to the beach every morning and stayed all day. They parked at a spot that is directly over the dunes in front of the place where our house sits now.

Memories, wonderful memories, come to shore with the waves. Memories of playing in the surf all day, of building sand castles and picking up a never-ending abundance of shells. Memories of a time before I knew the clock.

Today numerous pelicans and roseate spoonbills grace the flightpath over the dunes. I make sand castles with my daughter who is just now beginning to have a concept of time. The beauty of nature unfolds around us in a clear and simple way.

There is one thing about Texas beaches that continues to baffle me, it is that cars and trucks drive on the beach. A couple of years ago the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) built a welcome center for the birders that come here. Matagorda Island is known for its birding. The LCRA partook in a little community planning, reconfiguring the roads around our small subdivision of 7 or so beach houses. Their original intention was to close a small portion of the beach to drivers and create a car-free zone for birders. This lovely idea never happened so the cars continue to cruise the entire beach. In Texas it seems that the right to drive on the beach is right up there with a right to bear arms, so I wrote a little poem last year that I will now share:

Rubber tires were not meant for this
Four round black weapons
At the base of two tons of steel
Breaking the fine bones
Of mollusks and crustaceans
Assaulting tiny grains of sand
As they tread

Trash piles up
Outside my house
Despite the signs, the
Litter recepticals
Empy bottles
A half eaten flip flop
Cigarette butts
Aerosol Cans
A Can of Spam

Hot sticky
Sun marries water
At high noon
Sticky hot
In a diaphanous cloud
Of humidity and humility

Overdubs seventies rock
And I watch
Shaded by the leaf of
A giant

1 comment: