walking alone

walking alone
on the empty beach
through driftwood
piled up on the sand
sea-worn skeletons
of storm-torn trees

and the footprints of past visitors
crossing and re-crossing
disordered, cryptic pathways
indecipherable
and leading nowhere

it could be easy to start
worrying about purpose and meaning
to become lost in memories
and regrets

but I revel in places like this
the emptiness gives me space to breathe
I can expand into it
I feel lighter, pressure lifts

there is a change in perspective
as the natural world
goes about its business
and I am irrelevant
my worries are nothing

there is a calm excitement
anticipation
as if at any moment the whole world
could shift and become something new

I feel the past
the timeline of history
in every scrap of wood and sand
and dog-print and shell
and I sink into it
and becoming absorbed by it all is affirming and healing

a bird flies right past me
shoulder-height
I look up
sea birds fill the beach and sky

I watch one
repeatedly flying up
then down again
to the low tide line

I realise it is dropping
a shellfish
over and over
persisting until it breaks open
and it can feed on the sweet flesh

that’s life really

we keep going
until the work of living
reveals its secrets and rewards

and on days like this
in places like this
I have no doubt
my footprints join the rest
my pathway just as hidden
my dreams fly with the birds
my intentions just as clear

 

© Claire Griffin 2016