By Milton Siegele
The beach under a full moon is….
Well, everyone has their own special word for it, and some of the words people use include words like glorious, serene, tranquil, wonderous, transcendental, magical, and mystical.
My special word to describe the beach under a full moon is cleansing because walking on the beach under a full moon cleanses away the emotional and intellectual toxins built up in me from the heavy weight of day-to-day, human-being existence.
To cleanse, I walk alone on the beach at night under the full moon, usually toward Grayton Beach, home of the Hibiscus Guesthouse and the Backyard of Love, about two miles away from my home – as a sea bird flies.
It was the last full moon in September.
I walked alone on the beach under the full moon the Farmer’s Almanac calls the Harvest Moon.
Unlike the other full moons, the Harvest Moon rises around sunset giving farmers several extra evenings of moonlight allowing them to finish their harvest before the cold of fall arrives, but I digress.
That magical night, I walked under the Harvest moon with my emotional and intellectual baggage fading away - step by sandy step and wave by pounding wave – being born into a state of stillness and tranquility and peace, perhaps like the state a newborn baby experiences when it falls off to sleep in its mother’s safe, nurturing arms.
The sea breeze was playful that night, and like the smell of the Hibiscus flower, the sea breeze was clean and pure, nearly odorless.
In that state of stillness and tranquility, my imagination became hyperactive, and my mind and emotions were catapulted to a place I didn’t expect to go.
Maybe it was the dark magic of the voluptuous Harvest Moon, but in the darkness of the night and in my delicate newborn-like state, I suddenly, without warning, felt what some call goosebumps or goose flesh, or cold creeps, or the heebie-jeebies.
With the bone-chilling cold shiver that comes with the heebie-jeebies, I felt very ill at ease.
My heart began to pound!
“Something is here, something physical, or metaphysical, or spiritual, or something from some other parallel universe, but something, malevolent or benevolent, and I feel it,” I thought.
That’s what my sixth sense told me.
Sensing that something was there watching me or stalking me, I stopped dead in my sandy tracks.
With the blood-warm waves washing over my mortal feet, I looked around the sand and the sea to see if anyone or anything, perhaps a ghostly apparition, was nearby.
I looked to see what might have caused my frightening heebie-jeebies but saw nothing, nothing except the stars that seemed to flicker like a million little candles while the moon drenched shadows over the waves caused me to wonder if there was something sinister in the water – watching me.
“Come out,” I whispered, hoping there would be no response!
But something was there!
So instead of remaining and becoming the prey for an unholy apparition, I left, looking back over my shoulder frequently and listening carefully to see if something dark and evil was following me.
What was it that gave me that freezing cold injection of the heebie-jeebies - into every vein and artery and capillary of my human body?
Could it have been the apparition of some ancient sailor who went down with his ship many, many years ago? Could it have been the spirt of a young, tourist child who tragically drowned here after being caught in the rip currents? Could it have been a weed-stoned Grayton beatnik of yesteryear who was enthralled by the cool, hipster beat of the pounding waves and swam out into the Gulf late at night to become one with the hipster beat of the waves - and was lost forever?
The heebie-jeebies don’t come from nothing!
Whatever it was, it was, and perhaps there is dark magic.
I’m getting heebie-jeebies right now just thinking about that sinister night on the beach under the Harvest Moon, and I feel the goosebumps popping up and tingling on my neck again, right now.