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Saturday, January 6, 2024

Shadows From The Shoreline - Bird Rock 1950


By Harry Cummins

     When I was 7 years old, I lived with my mother in a blissful place called Bird Rock By-the Sea.

     My life then, the part I now choose to remember, consisted of collecting ladybugs in canning jars filled with blades of grass. In the afternoons my mother and I would walk the short, steep hill cascading to the sea where my mother would sun herself on a smooth rock, her watchful eyes always fixed on me near the shoreline.

     In the 73 years that have passed, my mother has died. Our clapboard beach cottage was sacrificed long ago to Southern California sprawl. I, in the name of becoming settled, have wandered from one address to another.

     Reflecting on all this, from shores many times washed over, I can still trace where overriding stability first began. Glancing back up the beach at my mother, my anchor, day-dreaming on her rock, I could safely sense the rush of a wider world lapping at my tiny feet.

     In those moments, then and now, life was simply everything I saw and imagined. I guessed the same was true for my mother on her rock of refuge.

     Bird Rock, it turns out, is a moveable fortress.

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