Saturday, January 16, 2010

Treasure Island, Florida

The setting sun hangs low, casting its blinding glow over the Gulf of Mexico. I’m marching south at the shore, ankle-deep in the water, about to make an about face and head back toward the motel. Suddenly, something at sea catches my eye. I squint, and then I shield my eyes from the sun’s reflection, attempting to identify what appears to be someone walking on water. Hallelujah, it’s the Second Coming.

I’m about to drop to my knees right on the sand and mutter a quick Act of Contrition. Instead, I pull my camera from its pouch on my belt as the figure atop the waves continues to move in a northwesterly direction, farther out to sea.

But, wait, the sacred image may not register on my camera’s memory card. Regardless, I attempt to focus the camera and then I snap three times. By now, a woman on the beach, maybe 20 yards ahead of me, has turned toward the water to investigate. Not yet on her knees either, she too gazes in wonderment. Recalling my religious education, I decide the image on the water couldn’t be Christ. His return, I learned would originate in the eastern sky, and we’re facing west.

Soon I realize that the offshore figure, the “water-walker,” is a young man standing on some sort of raft and paddling with a wooden stick. Shrouded by the waves, however, the raft remains unseen from the shore. And the fellow’s upright position partially conceals the stick. Some Tom Sawyer wannabe, I realize, and not yet Jesus Christ. Amen.

from 2007

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me a bit of the shallow draft, low freeboard boat that used to show up at the lake every Labor Day weekend.