The sun was getting ready to be swallowed by the sea when I turned to walk back over the dunes; my campsite was hard enough to find in daylight, I could not imagine having any success finding it after dark. I could picture myself peering into other people's tents, wondering if they were mine; and imagining the headline in tomorrow's paper, "Peeping Tina Popped at Pismo Beach."
I picked up the pace. But I soon learned that trying to walk faster on sand dunes is counterproductive; the faster I tried to go, the more I slipped, and the less progress I actually made. So I slowed down. To a stop, actually. As I shook the sand out of my hair, my clothes and my eyes, I saw the sky for the first time since I'd hit the dune. The sun hadn't given up without a fight; it had left its colors all over, like a child who doesn't want to pick up her crayons before going to bed.
I climbed slowly up the dune, marveling at the tough grasses and tiny flowers that had found purchase there. When I reached the top, I saw the lights of a hundred campfires, guiding me back.
I laughed. My campsite would be easy to find; my fire was the only one unlit.
© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel
Copper, sterling silver, hessanite garnets, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.