The Moonbeam Chronicles
by Rachel Holan
I started a small email list a few years ago ...
A Story for the Morning
Written Dec. 24th, 2007
There is a little Mexican man who rakes the sand on the beach in the morning. It´s hard to determine how old he is, because life on a Caribbean beach masks the aging process. He rakes soft and slow, like a calm yogi master, tending to his own spirituality. He makes circles around the palm trees, the young and the old, protecting them and caring for them. I watch him bend down, gracefully for an old man, to pick up a bottle cap and put it in his pocket. There is a look in his eyes that I cannot describe. I wonder why he rakes every morning. To find trash? To make it look nice for the tourists? I´m sure that is why he is paid to rake, but I hesitate in thinking that is truly why he does it. I walk down a little closer to him to watch. He smiles, nods, and we appreciate one another´s company in the silence of the morning. The waves crash, the birds cry, the sun is shining, and the palm trees are swinging in the light breeze. In this moment, I cannot help but feel that this is one of the few stable things in my life. With so much uncertainty, it is comforting to come to the beach in the morning to see the trees and the sun and the sand; these things will always be here, sturdy as a rock, whenever I need them. I lock eyes with the old man, only briefly, but enough to catch a fleeting look, as if he is wandering around inside himself. I imagine, as he lightly rakes, that he pretends to be some great Japanese Zen master, raking the sand and earth in a garden fit for an Emperor. He rakes his consciousness into patterns of life, love, and spirituality. And I imagine that somewhere out there, there is a small Japanese man- age unknown- who rakes away, daydreaming of raking the pristine white sand on a Caribbean beach, and wishing he was lucky enough to be there instead.