I haven’t been here in a while.
My writing has been so self-conscious lately, filled with tension over who my words might offend.
Full of discomfort that I might disclose too much.
The duvet of fog provides cover.
Walking out onto the beach, it might as well be the moon.
A strange sensation forms in my feet as they fight to find the ground.
It’s like that feeling you get in your knees when you stand too close to the edge of a cliff.
The fog blurs my vision so that distances become uncertain.
It creates a feeling of walking on clouds, like your feet aren’t really touching the earth with each step.
The way vampires go.
Walking into the mist, I know where I am going.
The ground is familiar.
The trees and rocks of Frank Island are completely hidden from view up until just a stone’s throw away.
As I approach one of my favourite parts of the beach and pause to listen and look, a lone figure with a cane or stick steps out from behind the rocks and crevices in the dense fog.
Stumbles, rather, and I can’t tell if he is drunk or if that is just his normal way of walking.
He lurches around and finds a seat on the rocks, looking north.
I am pulled.
I don’t resist.
I turn and walk north too, towards my second favourite part of the beach.
I have to cross a small tributary of water left behind by the tide.
In order to cross, I have to walk straight towards the man in the mist, towards the narrowest part.
Darkness is falling fast.
When I am at the right place, I run and leap over the water to keep my feet dry.
The man in the fog cheers and claps from the shadows.
I bow deeply in his direction twice with a smile and a laugh and continue on.
At the water’s edge, the waves are washing hypnotically up onto the shore.
It is getting darker.
I squat down near the water.
The air is warm and soft like towels fresh from the dryer.
I sit and stare at the sea.
It truly is like being wrapped in a fluffy duvet.
I am just having this thought in this moment about how truly magical this place is.
How wonderful and enchanted, especially in this moment.
I feel like I am high on some blissful chemical.
In the middle of my reverie I hear behind me “hey!”
I look over my shoulder and the man is passing behind me.
He yells this to me: “Good Energy!”
“Isn’t it though?!” I yell back with straight up glee.
And he dances off into the night, waving his cane/stick in the air to an imaginary song.
I holler at his back, “have a good night!”
And off he goes, trouncing and bouncing along the shoreline into the fog.
I look back out to sea just in time to see a dark head bobbing amongst the rolling waves
in about hip deep water.
The head looks left, then right, then dips below the surface.
I keep my eyes glued to that spot and my senses a-tuned peripherally, searching.
What a life.
For the seal,
and for me.
Then it’s like someone turns the dimmer switch down even more.
Everything is dream-like.
Night is falling.
So I turn and return to walk home in half-darkness, half white fog.
Everything around me is surreal, hidden and secret.
I feel a complete sense of safety, wrapped in this duvet of fog.
Protected, warm, safe and loved.
I walk through a huge flock of small shorebirds.
I can’t see them but I can hear them and because of the darkness and the fog, they are not afraid of me as they would be in the day.
So they do not fly away as I walk beside them.
They, too, feel safe.
They, too, are home.