Summer came early to Poverty Bay and so did fall. It was dark and drizzling when we (dog and person in tow) hit the beach at 5:15. The tide was low an hour before and sun wouldn’t be up for an hour. It wasn’t really raining, just that the air was so heavy you wouldn’t want an iPod on your sleeve. Cool and humid, it smelled like fall. The midnight high tide had swept the often rocky beach clean. With the exception of the rocky point that separates Redondo Beach from Lakota Beach, the hard-packed hot-chocolate colored beach proved ideal conditions for an early morning run in the dark.

Across the bay and a world away the glow of Seattle illuminated the hills over the Des Moines marina. The only other signs of civilization were the three fishing boats hoping to catch the end of the most active Silver run in years. I thought they were crazy for being out there so early. No telling what they thought of dog with man in tow. A big blue heron let us know that she was not happy about our visit.

To end the day with sunset in a swing; to start the day with a dog and a beach; to have meaningful work in between and people to share it with—these are my aspirations. Poverty Bay is high mass with sacraments—the promise of baptism, the reconciliation of communion.

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