I am up before dawn. Well, well before dawn. I step outside into morning chill to see the 7/8 moon nearly midway in her path across the sky.
I stay outside, arms tight across myself to ward off the cold. Does that really help? To hug oneself against cold? But it is how I stand as I look out to black sea and black sky, and listen to the gentle waves at low tide. Soon, however, I feel too cold to stand outside. I head back in where I can still hear the waves through windows that do not snug closed.
Yesterday morning was much warmer due to heavy cloud cover. Those clouds lasted most of the day, scattering in mid afternoon and stretching across western and southern skies at sunset, turning blue to streaks of mango and raspberry.
I did my regular morning walk with a friend, pausing as always for a cup of coffee or tea at the restaurant operated by my friend Roberto. It has become a morning ritual: walk, coffee, conversations with Roberto in my broken Spanish. And then the walk home for a bean burrito breakfast.
Occasionally I breakfast with Roberto. Huevos rancheros, always. But yesterday I came home, had my burrito, and headed out for another walk, a beach walk, with four friends.
Beach full of gulls and pelicans. Fishermen bringing in the day’s catch.
And beach strewn with bodies of pelicans and boobies. Fairly fresh bodies. Some not yet scavenged. The blue footed boobie lives on Alcatraz, the island just offshore. But on this day, their bodies were scattered across the beach. What had happened for so many birds to lose their lives in such a short period of time?
I don’t know how long I’d expected to walk. But we talked, laughed, and took photos long enough to find we’d walked all the way to the estuary where we dodged dogs irritated at having their morning snooze interrupted. Gave thanks to the Virgin for escaping the dogs’ ire.
We headed home down the estuary road. Osprey filled the air. It is the season of nest building. Osprey circling overhead. Osprey carrying brush to nest. Osprey fornicating in a tree. I used my friend’s shoulder to steady my camera when shooting zoom.
Down the road, past the fishermen’s shrine.
Back toward town past the barrio scheduled for late summer demolition. Past the stand with fresh clams and past the muelle, or pier. Past beach houses sprinkled with “for sale” signs. Back to Islanda.