Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne


On Sagaponack beach, a mother and a son eye the crest of the wave and then the curve it leaves on the sand. The pebbles shimmer, washed over by the water. The boy picks up a stone and finds it shimmers less once it is in his hand. Surprised, he asks his mother why. “The water brings out the pebble’s shine in the light of the sun” – the mother says. The boy casts the pebble away and jumps onto the dancing shadow of his mother’s flowery dress billowing in the wind, as if to keep it in place. The shadow escapes from under his small feet. They come upon a piping plover which shies away and runs toward the dune. The mother points to the bird’s bright orange feet that have turned from their normal yellow during breeding time. The boy finds the change in the color of the feet strange. On top of a dune owned by the Whites, who have been potato farmers for generations, a man sits staring out to sea. The mother says to the boy: “Look, Peter, that man on the dune is John Steinbeck. A great writer. Remember this figure.”

As they do every year, that day, in the late afternoon, they get ready to visit a bush that blooms for only one day.

Today, after several decades and many storms, the Sagaponack dune sits much closer to the ocean. On the


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