Saturday, November 25, 2006
The clouds have fled from overhead, retreating to a rim around the horizon, and I lie on the cold stones under the waning moon's glow as the meteors leap from the constellation Perseus and race toward the red spot that is Mars. On Mars they have a day thirty-nine minutes longer than ours. That would give me a few more minutes to sleep, or more likely, to not sleep, to be awake when the rest of this island is dreaming, staring into the lonely dark heavens.
The air is filled with the smells of low tide. Salt and fish and the slippery brown seaweed that makes climbing out of the sea so difficult. My ears roll to the sound of the water sloshing back and forth between the Welsh coast and here. This ocean surrounding us is both barrier and opportunity. It depends on how you choose to wake up and see the day.
Behind me I hear the bells of the church in Sandycove striking five. Their call is gentle, a sweet warning. I pull off my clothes. At this hour this can again be the "Gentleman's Bathing Area," no women or togs. I dive into the chill black endless sea without care for the sharp rocks lurking just below the surface. But I have always been luckier than smart, and miss them all, finding nothing save the comfort of a rich embrace.
I stay within this until I can not stop shivering, and then I pull myself up along the old railing, pull my pants and jumper on over wet skin, and begin a long walk home as the sun climbs over the edge of this world.
copyright 2006 by Ira Socol