North Shore morning on Mars
Orange dawn. You’re strolling across an empty North Shore beach, far from the shoreline. The sun’s barely up, and so are you. You went there to start a hot day on a cool morning—to avoid people, avoid the mask thing, the social distancing thing, to avoid thinking about COVID-19.
It’s quiet. No wind. No movement. With the lake far behind, you’re in a world of dry stones and sand dunes. You think, this is what it must be like on Mars.
As a kid, you were fascinated by Mars, even wanted to go there. Here and now, this lonesome piece of the North Shore looks like Mars. And you figure, no, you wouldn’t want to go to such a lifeless planet.
Then, a bird flies from a tree on an overhanging bluff. Hey, you know that wingbeat. A neighborhood Robin. You have no idea why this solitary bird decided to fly through the empty sky at that moment. But you’re glad it did. A sign of normal life. Maybe a sign of times to come. The place is still bleak, but a little less so.
This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things. Available on amazon.com.