I walked out of school with the sun shining brightly on my shoulders. I peeled my lightweight jacket off before getting into the car to head down the hill toward the beach for my after school walk.
In the less than two miles from school to the beach, the sun dimmed, shuttered by a thick veil of fog. Palm trees became shadowy pillars as I steered toward the beach parking lot. As I walked down the long steep ramp to the sandy beach, it was like walking into another world. Colors were swallowed by the damp blanket, the view disappeared, I could see only 20 or 30 yards in front of me.
My mind filled with stories, the stuff of Halloween and horror movies. What was around the corner? What evil might that shadowy figure in front of me bring? What about the sea itself, was the tide actually as low as I expected?
Luckily, my feet know this beach. They followed the path worn by my frequent walks, recognizing the curve of the beach, the squish of the sand under my soles. Familiar birds whistled hello, giant kelp caressed my toes and a huge piece of bull kelp appeared from the shadows.
As I neared the end of my walk, a crowd of children appeared from the mist. And with them, the bubble man, the pied piper of the beach, casting a spell with his magic wand. The thick mist didn’t dampen their spirits, instead the dampness of the air helped them catch bubbles–holding them in their hands and allowing them to slip into the bubble tunnels the bubble man created.
Stories continue to swirl, wrapping me in their damp, shadowy chapters. My imagination is already hard at work, making connections, creating movies in my mind. I can only hope they don’t become the stuff of nightmares as I drift off to sleep.