The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My family was never really into traditional vacations. We rarely went to the beach, for my parents weren’t so interested in sitting around on flimsy plastic chairs with their eyes closed, accumulating sunburn. No, they preferred a more goal-oriented excursion. And as a consequence, so do I. This memory, while more of a conglomeration of about a hundred similar memories, isn’t particularly brimming with exciting events or startling consequences. It is, however, pivotal to the elaboration of my worldview as a whole. 	

I had major formatting problems with this, but that's probably just me, and my long sentences.

“Marcus, you already went and got blood all over your new socks,” scolded my mother.

“Sorry,” I muttered, then ran off before she could attempt to clean me up. Though I did feel bad about
once again staining some new clothes, apologies had to wait.

On this coastline near Bar Harbor, Maine, everything had to wait. Something about it was simply surreal; as if the surrounding world had for the moment decided to hold completely still to display itself to me. The towering, diverse pine forest created a canopy that nearly blocked the sun, so that shadows were cast relative only to the shimmering light reflected by the surface of the cold Atlantic.

We made the same ten-hour trip every year, but I could never seem to avoid busting a knee or elbow on the way down this same exact trail. I galloped on, blood still dripping down my leg, anticipating the glory at the end of the trail. The glory – a beach composed of incredible rock formations – ocean caves, enormous boulders, and ravines. In the past, I’d spent entire days climbing around and exploring, but on this particular day I walked with my father.

We moved slowly, carefully examining the biology around us. My father is by trade and interest an environmental scientist, and so I’d learned over the years of the plentiful tide pools – tiny ecosystems formed by the changing tides washing over the rock. Each pool contained a variety of small invertebrates and fish, all brilliantly colored, all living together in one small saltwater pool.  As we walked among them, we observed their stagnant slumber. I stood, an eleven-year-old person, and watched diverse, miraculous life unfold before me.

I turned to my father, and asked, “How do all of those little animals survive in one tiny pool?”

To which he replied, “Together.”

Tide Pools

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Spring, 2003
Coastal Maine

My family was never really into traditional vacations. We rarely went to the beach, for my parents weren’t so interested in sitting around on flimsy plastic chairs with their eyes closed, accumulating sunburn. No, they preferred a more goal-oriented excursion. And as a consequence, so do I. This memory, while more of a conglomeration of about a hundred similar memories, isn’t particularly brimming with exciting events or startling consequences. It is, however, pivotal to the elaboration of my worldview as a whole.

I had major formatting problems with this, but that's probably just me, and my long sentences.

Decade: 2000s
Rating: 0
Recorded by Marcus Kunkle on January 6, 2014
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