Some are ragged and rocky, filled with sticky sand and slimy seaweed.
Some are clear and clean of any rocks, of any wildlife, white sand glistening in the sun.
Some are tropical and the jungle dips its toes right at the water, as if kissing it 'hello'.
Today I visited two beaches. Two very different beaches in feel, in sound, in story:
One was the town's main beach - a lively small beach filled with people, small boats, fishermen, paddle-boarders, surfers, kids bathing with joy, warm water, palm trees, beach umbrellas, lounge chairs and anything else you'd expect in a lively beach town vibe. A great little beach, but nothing I haven't seen before in similar climates, in similar towns.
The other - up a hill from the main beach, tucked behind trees and behind an old out-of-a-story kind of a cemetery, is a sort-of cove with rocks on both sides, but a clear beach in the middle. It is called 'the beach of the dead.' And it is far away from dead. One of the first visitors I noticed was a bee-like flying bug. I say bee-LIKE because it resembled it's shape and buzz, but its color was dark green. Next I saw a shiny black colored crab crawling on the rocks on the side of this somewhat hidden beach. This beach was quiet, maybe two dozen beach goers and a handful of dogs. One dog in particular caught my eye. It was a lab I believe, or a golden retriver - I often get these two awesome breeds confused. It was so happy when it leaped into the water doing its 'dog swim'. It would come out and rub his face in the sand a few times, getting as messy as possible as if it needed a reason to go back in and wash itself up. It was overjoyed in the water, jumping, drooling, having the time of its life.
If that is a beach of the dead - why should we be afraid of anything death related?
Maybe that's the point. The Mexican culture know a thing or two about death. As all cultures do... but the way they celebrate the dead here is so pronounced, so epic, so.... ALIVE.
I was wondering all that as I was laying on my beach towel, staring at the changing skies that were shifting from blue-gray to being filled with red. BLOOD red. Is that way it is called the beach of the dead?
Or is it because it is guarded by the dead? The cemetery at its entrance greets every visitor with its presence. As if saying 'You too will be buried in the ground one day. Or turned into ashes. Enjoy your life until then. Don't live your life as if you're dead already. Live it fully. Live it well. Be overjoyed.'
The dog got the message. It sure did.
Us humans? We still have some catching up to do...
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman