the magic of sand

a grackle with eyes the color of pale topaz
strolls across the tiles of the bungalow
and I let him make his own conclusions
about when to take his leave

every morning, he comes to the stone basin
where I rinse the sand from my feet
to drink his fill while I have my coffee
and fight the wind to hold the pages of my book

and now he seems to make an inspection
of the small trail of white sand
I’ve somehow managed to track inside,
merely curious without being accusatory

as if he too knows the magic of sand
and how it follows behind bare feet,
leaving glyphic clues to where we’ve been
regardless of how often we rinse or sweep

© Sarah Whiteley

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I wish I had managed to get a better picture of this guy – he was a constant presence during my trip to Mexico last year. I didn’t make it this year. I ended up canceling at the last minute (for very good, but still painful reasons) and I’ve been feeling the twinge today of missing that very special place. But I know I’ll go back and hopefully one day soon.

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commencing countdown

waves 2a

In just a little more than 40 days, I’ll be driving south on the 307 on my way from Cancun to Tulum. This trip has been in the works for several months now, but it didn’t really hit me until the day before yesterday that I’ll soon be standing with my toes in the sand on that beyond gorgeous stretch of beach.

I’ll be going solo again, and that’s ok. I’ve been feeling the urge to flee and regroup for a while now and traveling alone gives me the opportunity to not only do that but also to write, play with the camera, gaze at the stars, and reflect a bit on the major changes I’ve tackled this year (admittedly, some of those changes have tackled me instead). Of course, the amazing shrimp tostadas and fresh guacamole won’t exactly hurt.

I’ve learned my lesson from the last time I put myself through a full day of travel (I get beyond grumpy). That first morning in Tulum, I will be walking the labyrinth at sunrise as a way to center myself, cast off the unnecessary baggage, and squash the grump in me. (Methinks I need one of these at home!)

PS labyrinth

night swimming in Tulum

turtles are the only traffic here –
moving slowly landward with
the June-shadowed moon under palely
trailing feet and a torrent of stars

all day, the sea bloomed –
bursting brilliant in
white florets against the sand

but at night, the upsurge eased
and sun-brushed curves containing
all the day’s heat submerged
into cooler divulgences

© Sarah Whiteley

I have a very unofficial sort of bucket list. It changes all the time, but there are a few things that have remained constant and one of them was skinny dipping in the Caribbean. And Tulum last June was the perfect place to fulfill that particular wish – amazing experience! I’m heading back in October and am trying very hard to convince the beautiful person I call boyfriend to come along with me.

In other news, I think I’ve decided to combine Ebbtide and Tied to Sky into a single blog. Things may become a bit messy here while I play around and decide how I want to revamp the site in order to better accommodate both poetry and photography/art. My apologies in advance for the chaos.

Be well!