If you think about carefully and over some period of time, after many walks by its shore, you will come to the exact same conclusion I have regarding the salt in the sea – and our conclusion is really the only possible logical explanation.

After all, when it rains, it rains fresh water. When you drill a well, your bucket comes up full of fresh water.  Rivers that flow to the sea flow with fresh water. But then what happens? Dip your hand in the sea and taste the water, you already know the answer, but I feel the issue is sufficiently important enough to warrant the taste on your tongue one more time.


That salt is not from the fish that swim in it, now is it? It’s not from the birds that fly over it, or the people that walk by it like me. No, it can not be. So as I walked through the foamy water of spent waves last night, waves exhausted as they climb one more inch up the sand and then disappear into it, I realized it must be from the angels that float above it, well, actually, from their tears that have fallen over the centuries.

Walk by the sea late in the day, the time of day when the breeze freshens a bit, you are almost sure to see, or at the very least, feel the angels as they float above the water. They float there, riding the waves of the wind above the sea, they tumble and turn on the wind, laughing and crying with glee, angels in the wind above the sea.

If you doubt me, or should I say if you doubt the presence of angels over the sea, consider this if you would. Have you ever walked by the sea by yourself? Perhaps at the end of the day, when your footprints are the last pair of the day in the sand or better yet the only pair? Do you feel alone? Of course not, in fact you are never less alone then when you are by yourself walking by the sea.

Your whole life is there with you. Everyone from everywhere and every time of your life is walking alongside you, friends, family, lovers, those alive and those long gone, they are all there with you, all gazing at the sea with you or watching the sand go by or looking at the sky.

But, of course, all those people aren’t actually there now are they? So what’s that feeling? What’s the sense of your father, your mother, your lover with the tumble down blonde hair is by your side? How do you explain that sense that that old co-worker who once made you laugh is there ready to make you laugh once again, if those people aren’t actually there, who is bringing them to you on the wind?


Angels floating along gently or zipping by the shore depending on the strength of the breeze, angels glancing here and there seeing what they can say, angels, looking down on us.

Not judging us, of course, when they do, because who has ever heard of a judgmental angel? It seems silly to even write such a thing. They just look to see what is happening and smile and, then when sadly necessary, they will cry. Tears. With salt.

As it is life they are looking down on, there is always something that causes an angels eyes to well up, for the tears to begin to flow. And when you consider that angels cry hard and fast and easily I might add, all the salt from those tears, over all those years, well, that right there is more than enough salt to bring the salt to the sea. In fact, I am surprised the salt is not higher in the sea, perhaps those places I have read about where the salt kills all in the sea, perhaps those are places with a higher concentration of angels, or a higher concentration of life perhaps.

An angel will tear up when he or she sees a child missing a parent, a parent missing a child, a pet searching for a master who’s not there. So the angels cry. They cry when they see love and heartache and sadness and someone alone. They cry when they see a man missing a woman, wondering where it all went, they cry when they see a woman realize it was once all there, and so their angel tears fall freely. And have for centuries. Filling the sea with salt. One tiny salty angel tear at a time.

I don’t need to tell you my friend what centuries of watching life will do to an angel and her tears.

An angel will stop in the wind when he sees someone walking alone on the beach. An angel knows if the person is happy or sad or returning to a home with love or a home alone. I don’t know how they know. It must be, well, you can’t explain everything you know, I know I can’t.

I don’t know how they know what they know. I am not an angel.

My friend Jerry and I were discussing angels today and their remarkable sense of empathy, all the more remarkable Jerry was quite right to point out when you consider that angels are personally very much unused to any feelings of sadness, of loss, of pain or sorrow.

You will never see an angel whose breath has been taken away by the callous words of a lover. Angels don’t fall back against walls when told they are being left or worse yet, that their lover is not leaving, no angels don’t do that. You’ll never see an angel watching a door wanting, willing someone who is long gone to walk through it.

There’s never been an angel torn so apart by love they are curled up in bed, holding only themselves. No, angels are never hungry or alone, an angel has never second-guessed himself, an angel doesn’t call up a friend and ask if they did the right thing, sobbing.

Angels don’t obsess about the angel that got away. Angels don’t get married or divorced or come home to empty houses and long notes of explanations, or worse, no note at all. Angels don’t feel the pain of wondering if the one you loved is loving someone else at that very moment, no they don’t. Angels just float, free.

In fact, there goes one now.

Like they say, it goes without saying, that if you give an angel the ocean, a bit of a breeze, some clouds and then they are very happy and content, they may cry for us but no need to shed a tear for an angel, no, not at all there they are, floating in the clouds above the ocean at sunset perfectly content and happy, flying freely, taking a tumble in the wind. I can certainly see myself being content up there like that, now wouldn’t you be?

Still I confess when I see them above me, it can be really disheartening to me, bothersome really even though I know they mean well. I know they are just looking around and seeing what they see but I worry so when the tears are for me. Go away please, Mr Angel, go away please, go see someone else in their moments alone, go see someone else waking up by themselves still holding true to their side of the bed, don’t shed those tears for me, really please, I insist, I am a-okay, moving on, brushing myself off, eyes focuses ahead not behind, I can barely remember her name really, please please float away, please. I am just out for a little walk by myself at the end of the day, seeing what I can see, running into whom I run into, me and the sea.

It never works.

Because if you know anything about angels you know they are terrible listeners, the worst really. So they float back to me, they float through the clouds, they float above the sea but once, last night in fact, I looked up at the clouds, the sea on my feet and I saw an angel, it was just before sunset, passing over a wave into a cloud, fast, quick, the wind was blowing hard, and as she tumbled head over heels, spinning in the wind with nothing to hold onto, the angel winked a lovely little angel wink and smiled at me.

But before I could smile back, not being much of winker myself, the breeze blew a bit harder and she was tumbled rumbled spun up, up and away, up over the waves, into the wind, gone.

4 thoughts on “Angels.

  1. James, have been reading your blog faithfully and meaning to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your writing. I love this entry, the pacing feels like flying, like an angel. I spent my honeymoon in Cuba and felt a few angels pass myself (got busted at customs on the way out, but that’s another story having to do with the devil, I believe) . . . looking forward to more of your insight and pathos! I have a blog on blogspot but am really liking wordpress–thinking about switching. Regretting terribly that I won’t be able to make it to reunion! Be well, Ellen

    p.s. do you ever feel like an angel of inspiration is guiding your pen (or keyboard)?

  2. Ellen, also if you do really like, please follow on Facebook and tell a few friends 🙂 I am trying to get the group and blog readership up a bit before I actually go so there are more people on the actual journey with me this fall, thanks1

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