Across the narrow beach we flit,–
One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud black and swift across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white light-houses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,–
One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Or flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong;
He scans me with a fearless eye.
Stanch friends are we, well-tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God’s children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?
I was delighted to come across this lovely little poem by Celia Thaxter today. I read it aloud to my children from the 1908 classic Birds Every Child Should Know (affiliate link, free on Kindle.) It reminded me of all the times they’ve chased little sandpipers up and down the beach.
I spotted the new AirBnB Mag yesterday, appropriately enough, at an airport kiosk. When I saw it was the inaugural issue, I had to buy it.
We used AirBnB for travel long before we started hosting (aff) — and from the beginning I’ve loved their vision for travel and hospitality. I wasn’t disappointed by the magazine. It made for great airplane reading and fodder for travel dreaming.
Exploring Havana was the cover story — oh, how I’ve longed to go there! Other beach vacations and summer hot spots were highlighted, too — though the Sleepy Sandpiper wasn’t mentioned (this time!)
I liked the combination of travel tips and pics of exotic places — but was really impressed with the thoughtfulness of the longer articles.
THERE IS A LOVELY PHRASE FROM NIETZSCHE that says the goal of life is to become who you really are. I think he means we should explore all our possibilities, and there are bits of us, waiting to be discovered, lodged in faraway places. So one can see the impulse to travel as a desire to complete ourselves.
Airbnb seems to have really touched upon our travel zeitgeist — the desire to experience, do, explore, become. . . to find ourselves at home in the world.
[Hey, friends. . . If you’d like to host interesting people from around the world via Airbnb, I invite you to sign up with my Airbnb affiliate link. Airbnb appreciates when experienced hosts help new hosts get started — and we all get a little bonus!]