Moving as if to the sweep of a conductor's baton, they flow off the beach like a tide of liquid mercury, then swoop into the air, a dark ribbon smudge against the August sky. As if on prearranged cue, they bank as one and the flock metamorphoses, revealing the flashing white of ten thousand underbellies caught in the glory of the setting sun. A dance of precision and grace.
Mesmerized, I float motionless in my kayak. Like a mirage, the flock turns toward me, skimming the glassy surface of the bay. As their sheer numbers wash over me, I feel the brush of wings on my upturned cheek….but perhaps it is only the breath of their passing.
Then, just as suddenly, they are gone…and I am adrift alone.