Dispatch № 75: Fleeting Escape

Mt Fuji rising above the sea and beach at Tsujido, Kanagawa Prefecture

We’d have been fools not to take hold of it and run. An errant fragment of summer that turned up in the wake of a typhoon. We stole away with it, taking the train two prefectures over and setting up shop on a stretch of sand fringed with driftwood.

Sand below us, water in front of us, the great mountain sitting huge in the blue haze to our right.

For several hours, she rested in the shade of our shelter, stretched languidly on a blanket in her floral sun dress, feet toward the surf and head turned toward the curious dreams that come with a head cradled in sun-warmed sand and the salted breeze wafting crashing waves and the calls of hungry crows.

I wandered for hours, watching clams bury themselves and wading into the sea up to my neck. The water was more cool than warm, but pleasantly so, like a cold shower in August, when the tap water has warmed somewhat with the ground.

On the beach at Tsujido

Fish jumped all around me, in such a way that I could imagine something larger, some predator that they were trying to evade, weaving between my ankles as a coyote might weave between trees in pursuit of a rabbit.

The air was warm but not hot. Warm enough to enjoy, but not so much to deny the changing season. The sun shone with the searing sparkle of summer, but only just briefly.

When she arose, we walked up and down the sand together, talking and looking at everything. We felt certain in the wisdom of our having come.

The sun, which had been near its zenith upon our arrival, was steadily lowering itself toward the horizon. In time, it sank below distant peaks and the great mountain cast its shadow up into the atmosphere, hanging there in the sky until it subsided into the dilute pastels of twilight, the moon rising brilliantly in the west.