Southern Light, Northern Beach

Aki snuffles along the sandy beach, reading the recent history written in scent. If the temperature was 80 rather than 55 degrees we could be in the south of France. Today we have the same clarifying light artists record when plein air painting near Arles. 

            At first, the beach seems empty of people, which is unexpected given that it is midday. Then we stumble upon a small family that appear stunned by the sun. They lay on the sand, protected by a driftwood windbreak. The children sport floppy sun hats and play clothes that might have been bought at a Hanna Andersen store. 

After we pass the first family of sun worshipers, each spot on the beach that offers protection from the cooling breeze is occupied by a different family grouping. Taking advantage of the broad beach, we keep twenty-five meters between them and us. Small waved roll onto the beach but no ducks work the surf line for bait fish. A raven flies over but we will neither see nor hear eagles or gulls. More proof that we have been transported to le côte d’Azur?

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