Beach: A stretch of earth at the boundary with water that takes the energy form of small, water-worn pebbles. A beach is a fluid boundary: the water takes on the shape of the land, while the land takes on the shape of the water. The compromise is a flowing form of solid earth. Because it is, however, a form of energy, to bring a boat to shore on a beach is not to “land” it and free it from the spell of water but to “beach” it, and let it lie on the stones as they do on the beach. It is thus not a firm landing, but one that still holds some watery energy. A beached boat holds the potential of water, just as do the pebbles that together form the beach, and which, like the stern of a beached boat, are often awash in the waves, and lift and fall with them.
American Gold Finch on the Beach, Conconully Reservoir, Washington