A Day at the Beach

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

I love the beach
It’s a special place for me
I take naps
Listen to waves
And walk along the sandy edge of the ocean,
Watching children make castles in the sand.

Dreams of the inhabitants flood the beach
My dreams, their dreams, everyone’s dreams.
The salty water of the tide moves in and out
And sweeps up all these dreams
and moves them back out to the sea.
Back and forth, back and forth, 
dreams tumble like shells with the riptide.
Dreams that may never come true
Dreams unseen in real life
Except in the minds of those who dare to ponder 
that which is possible.

A small girl with blonde hair to her shoulders
Builds pyramids by the seashore with her dad.
Chichén Itzá comes to mind.
The re-creation of a place they never heard of before.
Maybe shown in a picture, at some time,
By some teacher, from who knows where. 
And it stuck in their mind.
As the tide moves in at about 4 o’clock,
Most pack their bags to go.
Begrudging the work that lies ahead
Their feet kick up their dreams in the sand.
The lifeguard stays on,
Talking away with an older female friend sitting down below. 
She keeps him company for the day.
He talks about the sea, the wild sea so ‘bravo’ from the full moon rising in the sky.
Gentle souls were he, and she.

And the small blond girl stood before her pyramids
Arms extended from East to West
Absorbing the current through her veins, eager to gulp her up like a whale.
But she stood strong, and firm, 
Impermeable and invincible against the steady gust of wind,
As she overlooked the sea with its fierce and raucous waves. 
When her father said “Aria, it’s time to go,”
A loud and thunderous “No” came from her tiny back turned body,
Resistant to a thief who would dare to steal her dream.
But she acquiesced leaving her castles behind, like the friendly couple
Sitting nearby, she too packed up her things to return to her camp at Burlingame Park.

A single colored, sleeping woman, with a indigo bandana, tied like a crown on her head, was awoken from her dream.  Startled to find her dry little island in the sand 
Surrounded by the water, the encroaching tide told her she must flee -
To save herself from getting totally drenched.  Her dream clung at the edge of consciousness
As she raised herself from the ground.
 
The small girl was still standing in the distance with her parents.
We caught her eye and waved, she waved back.
Then they were gone. Disappeared as if they had never been there before.
Their effervescent dreams dissipating like mist into the air.

The beach was empty.
Only the friendly lifeguard high in his chair was left chatting away,
With his older female companion sitting below.
Relating his stories of the sea.

We too thought it time to go,
Reluctantly, we gathered our things.
As we stepped away, I searched my pocket filled with two white rocks
To see if I had room to take everyone, and their dreams home with me.
But no, I too, like Aria had to leave my dreams in the sand.
At least for another day.


By Georgianna Rivard

In the dark forest…

…the moon is the guiding light.  The air is crisp, birds are none to be found. Autumn hangs on, like the last leaves to fall. Muted green of olive bushes, alone reflect golden beams.  The clock has spent its time. Alas! the days are longer, the light is stronger, and winter won’t be far.  Sleep deeply under the evening stars.26930768309_bb2b393c95_o

“Credo” by Virginia Small

Summer's Secrets
“Black Eyed Susan”  Photo Georgianna Rivard Bravo

Just get to the point,
he said.
But which point,
she wondered.
Is there just one
and how do we decide
which one it is,
or should be?

Just make your point
and let’s be done with it,
he stated.

And her mind wandered
from that room,
to another point-
a rock at the edge of a finger
of land jutting into an ocean.
Watching water merge with sky,
she rested on that point
as waves dashed around her.

Okay, she said,
after what seemed to him
too long a time,
this is my point:
We choose our beauty,
be it jagged and dark
or smooth or gleaming.

But what makes something
beautiful?
We must have a standard,
he pressed.

Yes, she agreed,
and then imagined
another point,
a clearing near the top
of a wooded mountain
reached only by foot
after a five hour hike.

I want to tell you about a place
I once visited, she said.
Let me pull the threads of
a picture-memory
and then
let’s sort
for words
that point
toward
something
like beauty.

“Credo” By Virginia Small

Connecticut Review 2006 Vol. XXVII No. 2

Featured Image “Abandoned Farm” by Dave Dreimiller

David and His Violin

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Meadow

The decision is made! The drive to move on in search of a new horizon will happen.   New land with predictable contours, for plowing, planting and cultivating, will be had.  The last winter in Wisconsin had settled in for the Garland’s. On a visit to Grandad McClintock’s, in the dead of winter, where family gathers round the fire and the romantic Uncle David plays the violin with his Celtic fervor, and mother sings along, dissent is heard by the news that the Garland family will be settling in Winneshiek on the edge of Looking Glass Prairie. Going to Iowa!

Grandpa McClintock doesn’t want to see his daughter go. He says, to Mr. Garland,

Ye’d better stick to the old coulee, ‘…a touch of sadness in his voice.’  Ye’ll find no better here. …ye belong here. It’s the curse of our country, -this constant moving, moving. I’d have been better off had I stayed in Ohio, though this valley seemed very beautiful to me the first time I saw it.

The conflict between staying and leaving continues, as the mother in singing, “O’er the Hills in Legions Boy,” is subdued by the prospects of separation, and her husband, the ‘explorer, pioneer’ can only see the opportunities ahead, in a new land. Hamlin says, “life is a struggle, love a torment,” as the mind set for preparations is formed.  Even Grandpa  knows deep down the heart wrenching feeling of leaving your loved ones behind.

Hamlin’s autobiography is beautifully rendered in a poetic language, imbued with contrasting tones of light and dark, reminiscent of the true romantic spirit of the author and the times.   His descriptions of the land, and the mood they cast are indelibly etched in his memory. It is in his darkest poetic thoughts, where true meaning is found.

The reader is constantly reminded of the perspective of the author of “A Son of a Middle Border,” looking back in time. Remembering the bittersweet experience of being torn from the land of his blood, and his undying search of his childhood roots.

It all lies in the unchanging realm of the past-this land of my childhood. Its charm, its strange dominion cannot return save in the poet’s reminiscent dream. No money, no railway train can take us back to it. It did not in truth exist-it was a magical world, born of moaning winds-a union which can never come again to you or me, father, uncle, brother, till the coulee meadows bloom again unscarred of spade or plow.

Isn’t it what we all yearn for, to return to the ‘impossible past’ and relive the sweet magical scent of the fragile dreams that never really were?

“A Day In The Life of Luna” ~ Revised

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Luna, at the Sea

Made a journey down a winding road, to see an old friend and a dog named Luna. Near the coast we stayed.  We listened to the not so distant waves come and go, in a rhythmic way.  The smell of salt was in the air.

The next morning, on a walk at the beach, the tilting fence post glistened in the sun, with sand at its feet. Budding rose bushes, splattered bits of red color upon the dunes.  The dynamic sea awaited the hustle and bustle of beachgoers, after Luna and her friends had their play.

In the afternoon, the sun beat down. Children frolicked at the shore with mother and father at their sides, building castles in the sand.  They felt unfettered, by the rough canine play, of the early morn.

What did Luna think, as she lay at home sleeping, mid-day?  There, she was dreaming of her four-legged pals, from whom she would steal balls and sticks, as they raucously rolled in the sand.  Then, swim!

In the hours, when the night had fallen, and twilight awoke, daybreak returned to summon Luna out to play.  Alone, she could not go. She rose, wagged her tail, and sniffed and licked the face of my sleepy friend.  She was begging to go to the ocean, where she would find her friends again; and so they did.

With every journey, there is something to be learned. On this one, it was knowing a day in the life of Luna, and the simple pleasures it brings.

 

 

If you come back someday.

I am the forest
I am the forest.

The day is waiting!  Dawn passed before I awoke, and the sun is getting too bright for comfort.  Alas, one mustn’t begrudge the sunshine, though there is nothing like a rainy day to set thoughts in motion.

Having awakened with a clean slate, alongside one of many chores, and things to do, I ask, “Which will prevail?  Meandering my way through unprescribed discovery, or following the rule of accomplishment, and purpose?”  Balance is the prudent course.

To open the day, here is a poem by a Finnish artist, named Eeva Lisa Manner (1921-1995).  The title, “ASSIMILATION”

Assimilation that I have travelled. I will show you a way that I have travelled. If you come If you come back some day searching for me do you see how everything shifts a little every moment and becomes less pretentious and more primitive (like pictures drawn by children or early forms of life: the soul’s alphabet) you will come to a warm region it is soft and hazy but then I will no longer be me, but the forest.