It’s raining a bit and cold and someone says the word ‘stroll’ and it sounds so exactly what I’m in the mood to do. Had they said ‘walk’ I wouldn’t have budged. I don’t feel like a walk. I want to stroll.
So I go to the beach because there’s no better place to be on a rainy afternoon-almost-early-evening in August.
Strolling implies not thinking, which makes it almost like a walking meditation. However I soon discover that the batteries are low in my camera and nothing is reliable. Sometimes it takes a picture and sometimes it flashes its ‘batteries are low’ signal. I consider not caring, consider not taking any pictures. Walking without taking pictures is also a kind of meditation and sometimes I can do it. Sometimes I crave not taking pictures.
Today there is milkweed and a seagull that limps and another that is hunched like an old man against the rain, a scowl on his beak, eyes all squinty and annoyed.
And perched tidily on the bottom step of wooden stairs leading from sand to playground, a tiny pair of purple lace-up sneakers with the heels squashed flat to make slip-ons. I beg the camera to work but no amount of thumping its battery end persuades it. If I wait ten minutes or so, it may be charged enough for one tiny purple shot. But there’s no guarantee and it’s raining and I decide to simply add ‘shoes’ to the list of things I’m trying to remember, to the picnic table buried to its very top in rocks and sand. And a sign that makes no sense.
And then the rain slows down and the sky brightens for a minute. It’s that kind of weather. I consider going back for the purple sneaker shot but, nah, it’s only shoes. I skip stones instead and test the camera while I do it.
I test it again.
And then I seriously consider going back for the shoes.
But of course it stops working at the very idea.
So the corn cob that’s abandoned on the sand, unattached from its picnic, goes undocumented. As does a squirrel eating what looks like a timbit, and a white feather, perpendicular among slick stones shaped like eggs…