echoes of the crashing waves aren’t the only thing

against the cliffs 

the powerful sound of waves 

reaching up to touch sand

get closer

thunderous crashes 

pounding into the shore

only far off there is a bright stillness

a break in the misty clouds

where the sun that looks like a moon shines boldly down

over there is where i want to be

and yet it feel very far 

from the echoing reverberations on the shore

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half moon bay

the ground almost ate my shoes today

i thought i would slip off into the dark viscous goo that threatened to mutilate my new shoes

it was a poor choice in hindsight 

but shoes will collect dust

and become worn at some point

i saw the most amazing sunset

with clouds long and thin

purple lavender pink edges

a density that seemed so thick

and yet closer to us 

just the whispers of mist drifting across beach grasses

fluttering in the wind

at one point i looked into a car and saw a face who wasn’t there when i looked more closely 

it’s quieter here

i’ve always liked that

i’ve always liked how the main attraction is the sky

starlight not hidden by the glow of convenience stores and traffic

and i can hear the sound of waves

of wind

i can hear words

and the glow of lamps within windows against the night sky

more beautiful than any kind of orchestrated artistry i could imagine

it’s very soft here

if your eyes are closed 

you can’t see everything

but you may feel warmth and light in the distance  

sometimes 

if you have good ears

and you live by water

you can hear it

it’s kind of a shushing sound

it’s for when you want to be comforted

salt is considered a cleanser

and the taste is like the ring of a bell

something awakens

others may not like the scent of the ocean

but i do 

even the seaweed 

and something in the air 

that feels like 

something caught in something 

that 

never stops moving

that is finally still

and the way wet sand feels

as you walk

as you sink 

and sometimes you feel even one or two grains 

on the sands of a beach

this can be a joyful discovery

whether there is sun or fog or rain within the sky

walking with water

walking along the wet sand

ocean rushes up past my ankles

then back out to meet the great expansive water

each step and i can feel the grittiness of the multicolored little granules beneath my feet

the scent of seaweed and clean air

walking down the beach 

i have no destination in mind

but walk and my footsteps sound like a pulse

they match my heartbeat

as i watch the water

and the endless waves

and the lulling water traveling in to meet the sand and out again

as i keep walking

as i keep moving forward

and the beauty of the world unfolds

continuously

Her name is Hina

There is an old lady who calls to the ocean. She puts up her hands and it speaks to her. Her hair is silver. She’s been here for so long, but you could never tell how old she was. Her face is so smooth like a stone that has washed up on shore. Like one that was tumbled until any roughness no longer exists except in the memory inside the heart of the stone.

She lives with the moon now, but she’ll still walk along the wet sand. With bare feet and her clothes waving in the winds. And when she walks, she is every age all at once. Because she is timeless like the stars. Because she is from another place like the sun. She knows how to be all places at the same time. This isn’t hard for her. It never was. 

But then, she’s unlike you or me…

She gives us gifts, you know. When she steps upon the sand, she likes to create little tidepools with her feet. When her feet kiss the sand, she could bend down, scoop up earth and water rushing in together and throw it to the sky who would laugh at her, she can be so strange sometimes.

She smiles when it’s cold. And when it’s damp. And when the winds blow. And when the sky turns to darkness sprinkled with light. Because she knows what we don’t yet know and she is so happy to welcome her hands to us and stretch them out to us. Like a mother coaxing her baby to take its very first steps. She stands before us, welcoming us to fall into wonder with the unknown. 

She is our guide.

Barbara here… I was incredibly inspired after reading this story today, so I don’t often do this, but I felt like honoring and riffing of off the story of the Hawaiian ancestor, Hina. Enjoy!