Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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65

Footprints

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