I HEARD THEIR CRIES
…A workshop assignment
to tell of an experience I've had on a beach.
Huge grayish-white clouds fleeted across the metallic blue October sky. I was on Cape Code–Provincetown, Mass., to be exact, walking along the beach. Shortly before, I had stood spellbound before a memorial listing the names of the Pilgrims who first set foot in America on these beaches, before moving on to Plymouth. And now, I stood where they had, staring out to sea, posed as a lone figure perched between angry clouds and a desolate beach with a ferocious wind rushing past me. I watched the waves slam against the shore, mixing with the fearsome air current to make an angry concoction. This sea, it was a force to be reckoned with. Looking out, I spied turbulent gray water stretching straight out to the horizon. From some obscure distant place, the Pilgrims, the very same whose names I saw on the memorial, came sailing in from that horizon, searching for some sign of land. Finally, they would spy the shore I now stood on. With hearts pounding, they would rush from the boat to touch, one by one, dry sand after weeks in the utter oblivion of endless sea. On the shore, they would look around at its emptiness and feel lonely again…from one empty void to another. Which is how I felt, lonely, as I considered their story and pondered what forces could make land-loving people cast away all and sail a boat across miles and miles of desolate ocean to a no man's land as strange and lonely as the sea they had traveled on. I could feel their spirits on the beach aching to tell me while seeing what they saw and brushing against their souls. I heard their cries.
Copyright 2005 JO Janoski