3 Species

3 Species | East Wenatchee, WA | February 2020

The big family from two motel rooms away had claimed the best stretch of sand. Blankets, umbrellas, ice chests and inflatable toys covered the exact spot where the finest shells washed up. “When will they leave?” I asked Mom. “All I know,” she said, “is that today we share the beach.” Six decades later, that’s still good advice. A nearby sandbar, exposed when river levels drop, often becomes a cross-species intersection. Travelers arrive to eat, rest, poop or, in our case, just see what we can see. It requires acknowledging where and how each of us inhabits land, water and sky. We share the beach — at least until the water rises and washes it all away.