Rose Petals on Seacliff Pier

Rose Petals on Seacliff Pier

By Linda S. Gunther


It’s late afternoon here at the beach on the Seacliff pier. Fallen red rose petals are wrinkled, edges frayed, darkened, likely stomped on by couples in love, mothers pushing squeaky baby strollers, children running wildly to catch the seagulls, dogs on leashes savoring the fresh air, fishermen eager to snag the best spot possible, zig-zagging skateboarders trying out new tricks. All those feet and wheels trod on these red rose petals strewn for several feet down the knotted, weathered wooden slats of the long pier.

I think about whether there were tears of joy or sorrow shed here today. Was it a wedding or memorial service that took place? The rose petals left behind look the same no matter the event. Images trail across my mind. A grieving widow. A beaming bride. A flower girl. An old man who lost his wife, the love of his life.

I’ve been to numerous events on this pier over the years. This place, also the home of a twisted, damaged cement ship, the S.S. Palo Alto, sits out in the water at the very end of this pier, set here in 1930; and now decayed, discolored, smelly, yet provides a welcome habitat for seabirds. And it is, without a doubt, a most stunning venue for amateur photographers like me hoping to catch a brilliant lemony tangerine sunset.  

Life and death are seamlessly coupled here. The rose petals at my feet tell the stories.


 
Linda S. Gunther is the author of six suspense novels: Ten Steps From The Hotel Inglaterra, Endangered Witness, Lost In The Wake, Finding Sandy Stonemeyer, Dream Beach and Death Is A Great Disguiser. Her essays and short stories have been featured in a variety of literary publications. www.lindasgunther.com

 

 





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