Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pier-ing

I turned the engine off and stepped out of the car. Five more feet and my rented Honda Civic would have plunged into the fog-covered bay. The cold air, thick with sea-salt, brushes over my skin, weaving gently through the hairs on my arm. In the distance I see the Berkeley Pier cloaked in fog and feel the urge to be enveloped in the dense gray.

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"Uneven Surfaces. Continue at your own risk!" proclaims a sign at the start of the pier. I venture forward.

With graffiti everywhere complemented by splotches of white bird feces the Berkeley Pier is not a beautiful pier. There are crevices in the concrete slabs under my feet through which I can catch glimpses of the ocean below. The only thing between me and falling in the ocean is this concrete's refusal to crumble just yet.

Alone I walk along the pier through patches of suspended water vapor. Occasionally others emerge from the gray: a mother with her baby wrapped tightly in a blanket of purple fleece, a pack of teenage boys climbing on a row of quiescent graffiti-ed concrete sinks, a shoal of young fisherman chattering in a foreign tongue. As people fade in and out around me I continue forward, determined to reach the invisible end.

Boats chug past blurred in my eyes. Chill air fills my lungs. Seagulls cry in my ears. Saltiness tickles my nose.

Slowly the end of the pier materializes. A hooded figure docilely stabs trash floating in the breeze. Vertical wooden beams shoot skyward like rotting gap teeth. At the edge of the pier I glance between two of the protective beams. Across the dull blue-gray water I can see an old segment of the pier being gradually consumed by the ocean.

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Suddenly my heart pounds. I see movement on the decaying pier. I lean forward on my toes, strain my eyes to better visualize this apparition.

A seagull takes flight.

I retrace my steps along the pier, comforted by the reemergence of the woman and her baby, the pack of teenage boys, and the shoal of young fishermen.

I climb back into the car and shut the door, yet the salt smell still lingers.

9 comments:

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    1. Thank you! That makes my day :)

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  3. This is so beautiful!:)

    xoxo, Kisty of The Style Mermaid http://kisty.net

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  4. this is truly stunning.
    these moments are some of my favorites. the quiet ones, that sneak up on you, but somehow contain all the oneness and silence that we seek in everyday.
    just wow.
    thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Bee! I didn't expect to enjoy the fog like this, but once I found myself at the marina and faced with this beautiful scene I couldn't help myself, I was just so drawn to it. It was such a lovely spontaneous moment to myself, and I enjoyed reflecting on it here.

      Also, I noticed you added my button to your blog! I truly enjoy reading your blog and so seeing my button there absolutely made my day! Thank you so much! I would love to add your button to my blog. Can you tell me where I can find the code?

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  5. Wow, beautiful photos! I enjoyed your writing too, made my mind imagine being in that moment. :)

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    1. Saying that my writing helped to transport you into the moment is the biggest compliment you could give me! Thank you so much! :)

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