For those of you who couldn’t make it to the beach today: the water was perfect swimming water even though the purple flag was flying on the lifeguard tower. The sun was directly overhead, far above a nearly cloudless sky. I walked out about a hundred yards and could see the hairs on the top of my feet the whole way. Waves gathered momentum and smashed into my abdomen. A quick scan to the north and to the south revealed other swimmers playing like carefree dolphin, their bare backs arched and slippery. The salt stuck to my skin, my face, cleared my sinuses. I breathed in deeply, tasting the sea like a raw Maine oyster. From my hair dripped microcosms of ocean onto my shoulders. The sand on the floor was smooth, free of shells and rocks. Absolutely no weedlines to interrupt my meditation. Just crystal blue water all the way out to the horizon. This is what the open end means to me, this vast clearing at the edge of a continent.