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Fiction

On Account of Opening Day

The great joy of spring thaws to one fundamental idea—that you made it to another one. We’ve already had April days that remind us of how good we have it, bright and still with everything cut just perfect. The rhodies bloom, the ospreys return, the rain finally lets up and those last big dumps of March snow on the Olympics are illuminated by harsh, spectacular sun.

Most days these past few weeks have been good to be on the water, so I took some time and drove to a favorite beach. It’s a place where currents meet on a small peninsula on Colvos Passage. You can paddle there, true, but I prefer to walk through forest and fern, down a half-mile bluff path to a beach I’d like to think only I know about. Soon enough, I’m alone, knee-deep in salt-water, fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout.

Where I stand the currents buckle into wavelets. The water is otherwise flat. Two kids on paddleboards come into view, moving toward this small peninsula. I hear the dip and small splash of their strokes. They are heading for a beach of fist-sized rocks that merges to sand about 50 yards from me. The boy holds his hand out to the girl, who steps off after him. The girl waves and I wave back…


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