I take long walks on the wide beach below my house, every day of the week. On weekdays, it is almost totally empty. And I love it.
The first time I spotted her, she was walking quite afar from me. She looked so stunning. She was splendid in her snowy billowing feathery coat. So graceful and so petite.
I had never noticed her before even though I had been strolling all over the place for quite a few weeks.
It was getting late and I did not want to be caught by the rising ebb.
I shrugged and retraced my steps. I’d probably see her again.
The weather had been fine for weeks now. A little bit misty and cold maybe... Perfect weather though to take long walks on the beach.
Before the tourist throngs flood over our beach, you get to bump into the same people, day after day... ‘To bump into’ - wrong word considering the vastness of the beach.
I hit the beach the next day at about the same time. I had to walk for a long time before I spotted her. The sea was receding and rocks were emerging. There she was again.
Still wearing her snowy billowing feathery coat... Getting much closer to her, I noticed that she had put on black leggings and that she was sporting boots... bright orange boots.
She was beautiful. So beautiful that I stopped to watch her before resuming my promenade.
She was leisurely strolling along the shore, wading at times through the wavelets. She did not pay any attention to me. Maybe she did but since a deserted beach is a haven of peace, she never showed that I was bothering her.
I walked slowly past her because I did not want to disturb her. This is rule number one when you are wandering on the beach. It is a very peaceful place and you want to keep it that way.
On my way back, she was standing on a rock the ebbing sea had just unveiled. So elegant and graceful that I held my breath.
I would have been so happy to swap my human nose for her sharp aristocratic beak, then and there. Wouldn’t you?
Postscript - My feathery friend is a Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta), very rare in our part of Brittany. I hope I have not offended him if it's a "him" since male and female look alike, even during the breeding season. Anyway, she/he is an incredibly beautiful bird that fills my heart with joy every time I cross her/his path on the beach. Almost every day...
*Good Luck, and Good Night*