The sky fills with gulls when we break out of the woods. They glide as a squadron with the tips of their hinged wings pointed downward. Two harlequin ducks burst from the beach, stretching their necks forward. Nothing remains on the water. “What’s the deal, little dog?”
Down beach I spot a flash of white cross a slower moving patch of turquoise. In a few minutes a young woman with two energetic dogs comes into view. The woman ignores the beach, the birds, and her own dogs while she speaks into a cell phone. She steps over a small stream, apparently not hearing the song of water moving fast over beach pebbles. I am a little angry after she passes me while focused only on her phone. But the stream song soothes me close to where I was when watching the gulls.
Bending over I see my judgmental face in the shinny surface of a Lion’s Mane jellyfish that has collapsed on the beach. She was happy. She must have been talking with someone she loved about something she loved. Why should I resent her for enjoying a magical connection with another human being because her voice flushed the beach of birds and shattered a few minutes of my solitude?