Mutable Earth


Sand dunes are gypsies. They migrate, responding to the wind and the waves, the roads made and the earth shifting below it all. Their travel is slow, local and only perceptible to the attentive; the faithful who track their position and note the data for tomorrow’s eyes.

Their insides are wetter, tightly packed and mounded high against the flat beach plains. Their profile will look unchanged as long as the dunes plant’s roots can hold against the wind and rain. But as soon as the weather gets wild the smallness of its parts show a speed for the change being forced upon them. The little grains of sand racing in the air, one by one, change the face of the earth. They’ll wear down their own dune while another dune nearby collects their blown particles, and builds up higher.

The sand is so small by the time it gets to dune, at least smaller than the shells in the sea that they came from. Each one ground down over a long time under waves laps and crashes to the shore. A very long time to make something so beautiful and fine. The ocean’s daily chore.

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