Last August, while visiting our friends in Tranquility, New Jersey, they surprised us the first morning with a treat: a day trip to the Jersey Shore. They've know me forever, and know that heaven for me is swimming in the waves, and it was a perfect beach day. Even Maryann went in the water.
At one point, when my husband and Jim and Maryann took a walk around to see the houses in Ocean Grove (they're beautiful, multi-coloured Victorian wood sculptures - and Jim's an architect who's worked on several of them) I was frolicking in the waves, diving over and over until my head was clear of all thought - just pure energy - and suddenly, the sky turned dark.
This is a dream I've had - over and over, all my life. A perfect beach day, and suddenly, the world is about to end. And I try to tell the people at the beach 'it's not too late, we can still swim'.. sometimes in the dream, everyone is on the beach, afraid, and we're watching a giant wave moving in from the horizon, out of scale with anything you'd ever see.. in one of the dreams, I walked out into the water, and made it recede.
I've had these kind of premonitions before: I woke up in the middle of the Christmas night, before the Boxing Day tsunami, at the exact moment, it turned out, that it was hitting the first shores. I was dreaming of waves. And 9/11, I was at the beach of the Hurricane Hotel, near Tarifa, Spain, but that's another story. I know I'm not alone in having these feelings.. do you get them?
My heart breaks when I think that this pier might be gone, the houses.. this bird, who I had practically tamed, feeding him by my beach towel, I hope he was able to shelter from the storm.. the photos came out this bright, but even as it was happening, the day felt surreal, like a dream.