At five o’clock last night I was making dinner when I turned to Julius and said, do you want to have a picnic on the beach and watch the sunset? A pause. “Yeah!” So we packed a tiffin box with chili and went to the ocean.
It’s a place called Seaside Wilderness Park, fifteen minutes from our house. We walked under the freeway towards the shore, crossing the railroad to reach the sea. We found a patch of grass and I drank red wine and watched the waves rolling in on the water softened rocks.
Then the train came. Slowly it sounded it’s refrain, warning people of its presence. A great rolling machine just a stones throw from the beach flowers and the weather worn driftwood and the little boy with his dog playing in the sand.
We stood up as it passed, like a great beast, or a carnival, and we waved. Something in me needed to wave. The child in me and the child beside me, we waved our arms high in the air and searched the windows for a response as it passed.
And then, the silhouette of a body and it’s arm held high just like ours, waving back at us from inside the train.
I cheered hooray and then began to choke up. I still have tears in my eyes writing about this moment. Someone, I do not know who, saw us on that wild beach and waved back. The powerful thing about this moment is that I don’t know what they were wearing, or how old they were, who they vote for or where they grew up. I couldn’t even tell if they were male or female.
But in that moment, we were just two humans, saying hello. One in the wild, one inside a machine, and we were connected. I will never forget the power of that magic. I hope my story reminds us all of this irreducible truth.
We are one.