Ten Minutes at the Beach

Claire at Ocean Park, Maine

I set the timer on my watch after lunch and sat on a bench at high tide.

I did not check the tides app on my phone to see if I’d happened to take my seat at the precise moment of highness. By the seaweed line on the sand about 10 feet in front of me, it did seem as if high tide had just happened, and it was higher than normal. The moon was full last night. I was ready to lift Claire onto the stone bench to keep her dry if a rogue wave came too close. She barked at a man walking by, but she had nothing to say to the ambling seagulls.

Sea foam fizzed as it disappeared into the sand. Waves pounced in white curls, portable waterfalls. Their dark shapes gathered offshore and moved toward us in silence till thin lines of white spray laced the tops just before the roll and crash, the hissing and the thump.

Those 10 minutes went by more slowly than they do when I am online, scanning tweets or my in-box. Ten minutes of digital distraction mostly disappear without a trace. In and out, gone.

A seagull flew low and dropped a fat clam on the wet sand, not hard enough to open the shell for a meal.

Claire strained at her leash as two dogs approached, also on leashes.

We all shared a slim band of sand today, because the tide was so oddly high.

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