June 6, 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas

Beach Boy

Henry loves the beach. He is fearless, charging the waves like Achilles through Trojans. There’s a big smile on his face the whole time, and the occasional shout of sheer joy. I envy him.


I think much of the joy if childhood stems from the total disregard of consequences. He’s loving now; the thought of the cold, sandy, uncomfortable walk back to the condo doesn’t even enter his mind. He loves the waves, wind, and sand — the joy is a result of an innocence that we lose as we learn consequences. The understanding of consequences is part of maturing, but we lose something as “grow up.” As I watch to be sure he doesn’t venture out too far, I am the personification of Consequence, looming dark and unavoidable, even as he does his best to ignore me in his delight.

Maybe that’s the very reason why he seems not to listen to me much these days.