The Time Traveler
We'd seen him at other stops along the coast, but as we wandered on Heceta Beach near sunset, we saw him again - his boater-type hat, the European cut to his boots, his long overcoat flapping behind as he strode ahead of us toward the rocks.
His profile was unique among the beach-goers, with their lawn chairs, T shirts, little humans running around; he was singular, he noticed what I did, he photographed similar views, he headed straight for the far side of the cove as we did.
When I began taking shots of the waves crashing toward shore, spray leaping high between rocks and boulders and seastacks, suddenly this man jumped into my camera frame unknowingly, his focus, as mine, on the beauty of this Pacific coast, Oregon, beach. I began photo-ing him, too, his silhouette, anyway - and only when home and looking at our trip photos through the computer did I realize how - only in shots with this fellow in them - the lighting had changed, grown gold, shadows added, mists rose....
and in looking at them, rather wondered if we'd met a time traveler.
I chatted with him as my husband, he and I walked back along the beach together, two of us, photographers, loving the visual riches of this shore.
He spoke with a thick Italian accent and looked a little like Father Guido Sarducci; he told us he was from Illinois. He got into a car with Arizona license plates and drove away.
He waved his boater hat as he went by.