The Keeper

As far as time goes, I have no idea. This early, my brain struggles to gather the usual information. I stumble half blind around the tent, tripping over the boot prints, which are hard and frozen into the sand.With an unrationalized urgency we pack our camp, fearing an imaginary band of wrathful locals, coming in the early hours of light, to lynch us as beach squatters. More than fear, its an attitude of conjured respect for those who live here, in the middle of nowhere. Out before first light.

I am beyond disoriented, still fighting off body tremors from last nights sleep in inadequate equipment. Early in the winter, I would have hated it, by now I welcome it, so much so it almost warms me up. Almost.

The boys make a run down the sandy road to the car. I manage a few steps, followed by a pair more. As my momentum builds, I enter the clearing and stop dead in the icy track. At that moment, as the first rays of light broke over jagged mountains, I saw one of the most majestic creatures known to man. The filtered light radiated its golden mane, its very presence warmed my rebellious bones. I started to laugh, like I never had before.

Miniature. Pony.

Blocking my exit. The guardian of the wave. The keeper of the shred.

(None of the pictures are touched up or messed with, other than converting to digital from print. The “red effect” was managed with a variable ISO film.)

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