Place Where You Live:

Annapolis, Maryland

It was December of 2020, and cherry blossoms were blooming beside the holly. The berries were there, ripening and red, the leaves thick and thorny in their winter sturdiness. On one side of the driveway, those berries. On the other, those blossoms, pink, light, and fragile in the cold.

The light was thin and reflecting off the water in pale blue. Soon the sun would set and around the neighborhood, masked, one at a time and in pairs, people were walking. Past the blooming cherries, past the berries, and around the corner, leaves: red and orange, maple leaves, leaves of fall. The sun on everything. The seasons swirling. The days darkening. The air cold.

How long have I spent, walking toward the docks on this quiet creek? How many times have I seen the jellyfish pulsing, and the herons, and the sunlight glinting, and the water that rises and falls with the moon and the rain and the daily tides? This place—it turns toward water. This place has marsh grasses and muddiness. And I am in the midst of it.

But then the water flows, out from this creek to the bay, out from this bay to the ocean—the open, warming ocean, where a month ago the waves were pulling horseshoe crabs, lifeless, moving in and out of the foam. Others had landed on the beach. The sun illuminated each one like softened amber sitting on the sand.

I think I should have more to say. Something that brings it all together: the jellyfish, the herons, the horseshoe crabs; the tides, the moon; the blossoms, the waves. My thoughts are fleeting. But I know that if I sit on the dock on this tidal creek, for a moment I can stretch my mind and flow with the water. Soon, I am back in the ocean. And amidst the swirling brokenness of it all, there is salt air, and death that looks like amber—and then the sunlight shatters on the creek.