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Drip. Drip. Drip. Water comes down from the sky, wrung out of the grey clouds until the air is heavy with rain, and the ground is saturated. Drops roll down the driveway, dodging fallen pine needles, bits of lichen, twigs. The drops gather with other drops, merging together until streams run through the detritus, mob-like, bullying a way down to the oak tree, through the ferns, down to the stream.

Puddles in the grass. Puddles in gardens. Puddles on the paving stones and the benches. Leaves hang heavy, wet, sagging. Swings droop, forgotten. Spirits sag. If only the rain would stop! we think. If only there were some sun! we wish.

We swim inside in a man-made pool, watching the grey clouds gathering through the windows. When we finish swimming inside, we swim outside through the heaven-made pool to the car. Drops roll down the windowpanes, they swish from the windshield wipers, they form a topographical map on the hood of the car.

But a new morning dawns.

Clear blue sky.

The sun shines.

The beach calls.

We drive through town, past the market, by picket fences and window boxes. Hot sand under toes to the tide line, where the water, the ocean water, the cold, cold water takes refuge in the sand, refusing to give heed to the pull of the moon. Tiny drops surround grains of sand, forming a putty for small builders equipped with shovel and pail.

Courageous souls brave the salty water. Screams of girls and gulls fly through the air.

A tiny crab is discovered and captured, its miniature legs moving ferociously across a small palm. When fully prodded and examined, it is released back into the sea, back to its home, and inquisitive eyes search for new discoveries.

Stones, shells, snails washed by the sea, bathed by the water. All are fodder for a day at the beach, until the mist rolls in with the tide. The water in the air bows down to meet the water on the ground, and we, mere mortals, are in the middle, desperate to escape water from above, only to find refuge in it from below.


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