Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Footprints in the Sand

The sun has barely risen over rooftops on the beach – yet several footprints are already scattered across the sand. Some run in the same direction as mine as I walk south.

The crashing of the surf and the cries of gulls fill my senses. A small white tern dives into the waves for breakfast as a rosy glow steals across the sky.

I’m glad for every day on the Gulf, where it’s warm and sunny. St. Pete Beach in winter is one of my favourite spots. The evening news brings more stories of snow and ice storms lashing across Canada and the USA. Apart from a tropical escape, what brings me here this time around is setting research for my novel. Today I catalogue names and descriptions of hotels and other landmarks along the beach. A grueling task but I’m up to the challenge!

By noon the footprints have multiplied, crisscrossing the sand at random. The tide rushes in now and obliterates many of them.

It strikes me that our lives are just as fleeting. How many have gone before us? How many will follow? The only lasting impression we can make, it seems, is in the hearts and minds of those we leave behind.

(written Dec. 7, 2007)

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