Tuesday 30 October 2012--My rebooked flight is on Aer Lingus, with a change in Dublin. The best thing about that is that US Customs clears you
before boarding in Dublin, so all you have to do in Boston is pick up your luggage and go. Win is surprised to see me emerge so quickly.
For the second year running, I've arrived home in the wake of a catastrophic weather event. Unlike last year, there is no great consequence at
home. People living in coastal areas are not so lucky. Some towns along the New Jersey shore have been devastated. In the course of my job driving a
charter bus, I've been to a few of those--Cape May, Wildwood, Atlantic City. Those places are very different from beaches I've walked in the Magdalen
Islands, Northumberland, the Hebridean islands, the wild northwest of Scotland. But a beach is a beach, and its allure is unmistakeable, whether it is a tiny
pocket wedged between the rocks, or a strand stretching farther than the eye can see; whether you arrive by walking four miles across the moors, or by
stepping out the door of a casino. We leave our mark walking just above the waves, and perhaps we stop to build our little castles. Then we leave, and
that most powerful force of nature, the sea, washes away our footprints, les pas perdus, as if they never had been. Thus shall pass, eventually,
all the works of humanity. Catch 'em while you can.