those who run with the waves,
who catch the first rays of light,
who leave the first prints
on the still wet sand
from the receding tide,

who follow the foamed edge
of sea and shore, their stick legs
and banana bodies shadowed
in the shimmer, sprinting after…

ocean-gifts carried on wave tips?
a chance to dance to the song of the sea?
Are they fueled only by instinct,
lacking awareness?

We claim a greater mind,
but how like them are we,
dashing through our days,
through tide and time,
chasing after something
we cannot name,
our tracks washed away
by the next wave?

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I love early morning walks on the seashore and sometimes catch shorebirds chasing waves or seeking food in the wet sand and chill air. I watch them dash around, back and forth, seemingly at random. We may claim superiority over the animals, pointing to our big brains and human erections as proof of our claim. Yet, from another view, we see the futility  of our effort and it becomes clear that we are like them. Studies of animal intelligence show many animals are not only self-aware, but can teach us quite bit about what it means to be human.

© Nick LeForce
All Rights Reserved