“Be aware of your surroundings.”
“Wait, slow down. We need to know where we are going.”
“Let me look at the map.”
There is a push for every pull.
There is a strangle hold for every soft touch on the shoulder.
There is longing with every release.
Ride the wrong train.
Walk down a different street.
Rush, the days can be short.
Dec. 23. I throw on yesterday’s clothes and rush out the door. I am not even sure where I am rushing, because I am not even sure where the path begins to the place I am rushing to, but I have purpose and adventure on my mind. I rush. I can’t remember if I bothered to brush my teeth before I adventured. Dec. 23 is one of the shortest days of the year, and I was not worried about anything else, except this:
I did not remain aware. I did not know where exactly I was going. I most certainly did not look at a map. And, (drumroll, please), I had no idea which path led back to the rental house once my escape, err, beach walk, was over. But I most assuredly resolved not to tell my “pay attention to your surroundings” husband (who was probably just getting out of bed) about my, uh, path finding folly.
The steps that lead to the public access parking lot, and a westward walk on the road was my choice to wend my way to the rental house. On the third step I find a large whelk. A real beauty. I pick up the shell, and the creature inside is wiggling. I wish I had taken a picture, but I considered this situation a sea creature emergency. Here I go rushing again…I ran back to the water and pitched the shell back to the sea to what I hope will be a long, satisfying whelk life.
Maybe I should have explained to that wiggling creature to be more careful and aware of its surroundings. The public access steps, or the public, in general, is no good place for a whelk, but on Dec. 23, it was surely a good place for me.