Perhaps Something Happened.

Each spring, walkway “pallets” are placed on the path at Black Point Beach. Each fall, the pallets are gathered up and brought back home for storage, and for any repairs that may be needed. The job is physical, but the surroundings make the job a pleasure, whatever the season.

I may be “old” now, but I don’t feel that old yet, and I hope to be doing this job, spring and fall, for years to come.

For the last few weeks I’d been thinking about bringing in the pallets, and each time had put off the trip. A couple of days ago, the thought returned, and having no excuses, I went.

When I arrived, the first thing to do was to go to the beach for a quick stroll with the doglet, before starting the boring work of walking back and forth and back and forth with a burden.

Once on the shore, we turned right and went about 1,500 feet to the west, where there is a clump of seaside goldenrod I’ve been photographing every few days. It’s in full bloom now.

As we neared the goldenrod, we saw something on the beach ahead, something sort of big.

A dolphin.

Washed ashore.

A breathtakingly beautiful creature.

And it was moving, still alive, but barely.

And then it breathed, a great whooshing gasp of a breath.

Then maybe something happened, maybe it didn’t.

Perhaps there was small hope for a dolphin, but perhaps an old man could not leave such a fellow creature when there was still a chance for life. Perhaps an old man summoned strength he didn’t have, and returned a dolphin to the waves, not once, not twice, but three times. Perhaps then a dolphin then again swam in its own element, though weakly…perhaps it would live.


Then maybe an old man went home, having done none of the work he had intended to do that day. Maybe the old man rested a sore back and a sore mind, and thought about a dolphin for the rest of the day, and thought some more as he went to sleep that night.

And maybe the old man would go back the next day.

To see what had really happened…

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