Across Crab Creek bridge is a short ess of a well-walked path.
Today at path’s end a drift of sand partly fills the notch in the dunes.
We see but a sliver of the sea.
Step over the sanddrift, go to the shore, and look left, look to the East.
And now look to the West.
And look south, into the Atlantic, into the glare of sun on water.
It’s a good day to watch and to photograph waves.
Each wave, at each moment, is different.
Their transparent interiors glow, backlit from the low winter sun.
When two or more waves interact, the structure of the breaking water get more complicated.
Waves break when the bottom slows the progress of the lower part of the wave. The top part doesn’t slow down, it piles up, and keeps moving ahead. When the underneath part of the wave isn’t there anymore, the top has nowhere to go but down. The wave trips over its feet.
The broken wave rushes up the beach, and comes after my foot.
Then over a low crest of sand, the last of the swell flows slowly.
To a swale, and runs back to sea.