He dropped me off. Left me on a single slice of earth. Drove away in a watery wake. His back spoke a silent goodbye, good luck. I saw no one ahead or behind. Only the Oyster Catcher and the others. I had time. Space in all its facets, wet and dry. Solitude dominated the landscape. The sea, a metronome of well-timed lapping. The wind filled gaps of silence. Held me in his absence. Peace sat on her throne. Ruled the high seas. Reigned over me. While I began my gathering. The shoreline gives more than it takes. And offers more than the tangible. I heard cryptic murmurings to choose this and leave that. Pick this one and pass up that one. My small bag now filled with a story that would be written later. When puzzle piece meets puzzle piece. And the mystery makes more sense. Than not. I rinsed off my treasures with water, not from the raging sea. But from my quietude of fresh desire. To connect the dots of fractured wisdom passed from sea to me. Distanced myself from that slice of where I’d been. And read only what was in front of me. A dot dash dot, Morse code message made from collected things. Every symbol formed a word. Conjoined me to the shore, to tell me more of the world I’d gone in lonely search of knowing. I left parts of the story on the hemline of the world. They would wait for another day. But only if the tide has mercy. And lets them live to tell me more. He picked me up. And let me bring my bag of gathering home. Once heard and told, the stories never let you forget. The lessons they behold.