He speaks not to me, not to her, but is sound in his resolution. Her, being Angelica, the fierce Honduran American sitting beside me on the beach. Hours earlier, she had driven us to this strip of island on Florida's West Coast so we could stare at the blue. And Ana Maria Island is all blue. A seven-plus mile long expanse of land and sand strewn into the Gulf of Mexico to remind you, yes you, that you are living your best life. It is generous.
His posture is an exercise in being grounded, resolute as he stares dead on. The others, stand a distance away. Observing him. Feathers flap in the wind, which he quickly shakes off as if perturbed that the wind should dare to make such motions against his will. He is all torso and skinny legs interrupted by a gentle knob that rises out of where his knees should be. He flexes the knob against the shifting ground. The sand and pebbles registering his every breath, and he, their every motion against his feet. Taking notes, remembering each time how each knot of that knob should move as the soft grains shift beneath him.
He is calm amidst the crashing waves, and I can't help but look him back dead in the eye. In him seems to sit the knowledge of a grander cause. A nobility that exists neither here nor there, but simply is as he holds his neck upright. Stiff. Beady eyes blinking intermittently as he stares daringly at us and the bread we have turned into sandwiches in our hands. He is a sandpiper, on his own turf, and he knows it.
What are you?
Photos taken, December 2015 at Ana Maria Island a barrier island on the coast of Manatee County, Florida.