It’s almost high tide when I approach Sparrow Island. Seagulls line the ridges and boulders, squawking up a frenzy as I paddle near, taking to the air when I land on the beach. This island belongs to the birds: a few acres of rocks and grass, rising to a desolate hilltop. Later in the season, when the birds are nesting, the island is off-limits to people, so I like to get my visits in when I can. I pull the kayak up on the sand and sit on my favorite rock- the one with the other boulder as a backrest.
Since the tide is nearly high, I only have a short time before the beach is under water. That’s okay; I’m only here for a quick break, so I can get to work for the afternoon. I eat my hard-boiled egg and some peanuts. I gaze out at the water, which still has that turquoisey hue above the sand... a cold water phenomenon that looks deceptively tropical. The sun feels good, even if the only exposed skin is on my face, still warm from the sun I soaked-in on yesterday’s paddle.
It’s good to be here. It’s less windy than forecasted, and yesterday’s strong winds have whipped-up a pleasant swell, which dumps rythmically on the sand. It would be a perfect time to play among the rocks, but I’m alone, didn’t bring the helmet... and for some foolish reason, I need to get back to town, where I’ll spend the afternoon at my desk in the gallery, working on taxes.
The waves are already rising. The kayak will launch with or without me, so I pack up quickly and climb in. I hate to leave, but I know that even an afternoon working on taxes will be improved by the moments I spent here. The work it took to get here will stay with me in that mild, satisfying ache from the exercise, the warmth of the sun still on my face.