The sunset ceremony begins.
There’s magic in these hours, just before the sun dips away into the sea.
The horizon arrays herself in, violet, periwinkle, coral, cerulean. She’s blushing as her beauty draws forth all those who’ve come to witness this late-day spectacle.
Lovers come to bask. Shorebirds spread wide their wings in that last blast of drying light. Boys emerge from their condo-caves to skim the flat edges of the sea on fiberglass boards. Sons with dads. Its all so dazzling, those last minutes.
With the sunset comes a freedom: no need for skin protection, as the earth-warming orb is too low. No need for a hat. Just sparse clothing and a waxed board will do.
As our brightest star dips closer to dusk, these skim boarders do their thing. They watch for that immaculate wave. Its a wave that lays out on the beach and provides a thin coating of water on the shore. Once the water lays out gentle and long and thin, that is when its time to move. Brother urges brother, dad urges son: “Go!”
The short-lived sunset skimming begins. Just a few precious moments before the light fades. Balancing, landing, projecting, riding. These shoreline acrobats provide silhouettes for the twilight seekers and it is a thing of beauty.
How many waves can a skimmer catch before its too late? Many and few depending upon a boy’s balance. The whole foot must plant correctly. The wave must ebb and flow as anticipated. The successful crash must result in a proper roll-out, so as not to abrasion the skin. Just as the sun is continuing to fade on the horizon, so the flat sheet of water is always diminishing on the sandy shoreline. Too little water and the skimmer goes down, and flesh meets with sand, shells and rock. Too little light and the skimmer can’t see the wave.
So, it goes as the ceremony ends and the light closes out with the day’s activities.
Lord willing, there’s a lifetime of skimming to be done in as many sunsets as can be utilized for the purpose.