Stories from the Beach

I flow with the current on the way down from the Alps, which seem so far away but are really so close in this little world where everything can change in the space of just a few kilometres. I move downstream during the autumn and winter floods. Sometimes I stop for a rest in a bend in the river, but I know that my ultimate destination is the sea.

I’m nearly there: I can feel it. The water and the air are both getting saltier. The shapes of the trees around me are changing. They bow before the sea wind that blows in from the nearby coast.

I sometimes come across fishing or tourist boats lazily cruising down the untamed river like me. There’s an easy-going approach to life in this land that marks the boundary between the plain and the sea.

Now I can really feel the salt water. It’s a lot easier to float and I can just drift along effortlessly. There’s something new brushing against me. The fresh current of the river has made way for an endless series of waves that make me bob about and may seem to push me away but actually draw me nearer to the beach.

I leave them to it and slowly move closer with each wave. I just want to reach the warm, golden sand and lie there basking in the sunshine. I can hear the joyful sound of children playing and teenagers laughing with their friends. I want to be there, among the shells and the bare feet on the beach.

I finally settled down on the shore on a bright night with a full moon, when the sand was still warm. A particularly kind wave brought me up here, among blades of grass and plants that I’ve never seen before. I’ve no idea how they manage to survive in a place where the water’s salty and everything’s dry like a desert.

All the same, it’s full of life here. Crabs scuttle all over the place and you can see the footprints of seagulls and bold little sparrows on the sand. Then there are dogs and children who play with everything they find, including me.

It looks like I got here at the best time of year because the nights are warm and the sun shines on the beach from early in the morning until late in the evening. My tough bark is gradually flaking away and I’m being reshaped by the summer storms and winds.

Maybe one day I’ll become a work of art like some others that I’ve seen. Artists take the generous gifts of nature and use their simple beauty to make Bibione beach look even more stunning.

Of course a fir log like me that has been carried down from the mountains in Carnia by the Tagliamento River is already steeped in visual appeal. I’m a little piece of another world that the beach has welcomed with open arms. When the seas start to get stormy in the autumn, maybe I’ll set off for somewhere new. Or perhaps I’ll break up into tiny fragments here and become part of the soft sand.