Pebbles shift and settle beneath my feet, not so much crunching as sliding into place. Their patterns and lack-thereof are gently familiar as I march toward an almost-imperceptible blaze on the darkening beach. In the twist of my hips, the placement of each step, I navigate the landscape with a newfound confidence.
I guess you could say I’ve adapted to my habitat.
Behind me are the remnants of barbecue high spirits, undaunted by rain and scored by djembe. Bottles raised to the setting sun and the strings of lights that adorn the pier, like a vintage dream of a future metropolis.
Ahead is the warmth of a black-draped basement, good company and casual jamming over a steaming pot of chilli chai, literary allusions and plans for a musical future.
But in-between there is something I need to do. A flickering flame that draws me mothlike to its potential: a pair of fire-spinners, practicing their craft in the gathering dusk.
I gather my courage, and introduce myself, and within minutes I am one of them – a mass of motion, weaving poi with growing confidence as the memories activate; a pinprick of light on the edge of a darkling sea.