The frogs whistled and croaked in the marsh east of the dunes. Hundreds, thousands, singing an antediluvian song. They were my musical accompaniment as I constructed a driftwood fort of an interesting triangle deign. I had never built a fort with frogs singing in the background. I dug it. I should do more things with frogs croaking in the background.
It was my fifth fort on this secluded beach on a secret coast. I’ll resist the urge to name names. Let the secret remain. Mystery over journalism.
A man walking at the ocean’s edge saw me building and altered course to intercept. That’s an exceedingly rare occurrence in my fort building career—perhaps two or three times in a thousand forts. Ninety-percent of the time I don’t see another human being.
He came up to me. He was elderly and evinced a twinkle in his eyes. (Give me that twinkle at his age or give me death!)
He asked me what I was doing. (Give me that curiosity at his age or give me a death!)
I explained my passion and philosophy for driftwood fort building. It took all of 30 seconds.
“Right on!” he exclaimed. No one had ever said “right on” to me in approval of something I was doing right in front of them. I liked it—a lot. How many of us get to experience that in our lives, particularly at work?
Of course I wasn’t at work. I was at play and art.
We said our goodbyes and I went back to building. I saw him walk south down the beach and investigate my four other forts. He went inside one and sat down.