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Moving Meditation with High Tide in Naples
By Mary Jo Balistreri
When I concede to the gulf and accept
the small space left to walk, I take off my shoes
and go barefoot. The surf rolls over my feet
like a playful retriever, rushes at my legs and licks
me with salty affection. I splash along, skirt clumps
of seaweed, briny red smell mixed with coconut
oil and a rainbow of umbrellas.
I walk. I dream in shapes of sand and air
like children making castles. Imagination climbs
a bluebell sky, a parasail drifts among clouds,
a pelican rides the warm thermals.
Close to shore, dolphins rise and dive. Walkers point
and dreamers stop building. Those in the surf stand still.
In the perfect grace of curved bodies, in the radiance
of a sunlit sea, their leaps are revelation.
Rounding the bend at Clam Pass, a great white egret
perches, huge in the tree, and opposite him, a heron.
Those ancient croaky voices seem to thank me for coming,
proper preachers after a good sermon. I turn around
to go back the way I came, an ending, a beginning.