THE ALASKAN BEACH; A Kanuk, Alaska story by Voni Harris 12-6-11

Kevin looked around in disgust. He and Grandpa had come to the seaside rocks that served as a beach in their coastal Alaska village. He had Facebook friends who put on swimsuits and played beach volleyball on white sand beaches down south, but personally, he liked dodging the bull kelp and climbing the rocks and looking for sea glass and breathing in the salty, fishy smell.

Beaches: Kanuk, Alaska style.

It had been a long time since he had come. He hadn’t felt like it. He mainly felt angry, all the time, since his parents divorced. They said they loved him, just not each other, and Kevin guessed that was true as far as it went. But mainly he was stuck in the middle, and it made him angry.

Today, though, Grandpa had insisted on the walk to the beach. But it wasn’t pleasant at all. All he could see was the trash. Alaskans were supposed to be environmentally aware, outdoorsy kind of people. So why would anyone leave trash all over the rock beach the town shared?

He felt his jaw tightening in anger.

Grandpa must have noticed, because he walked up beside him, asking, “Thinking about your parents?”

“Yes. No, not really. Thinking about all this trash people leave lying around. Gross. I came here for the beauty.”

“But all you can see is the trash.”

“Yeah. Disgusting.” He kicked at a soda can.

“Kevin, look up.”

He looked up into Grandpa’s eyes.

Grandpa smiled, but turned Kevin’s head so he was looking out across the ocean and into a sunset that lit up the night sky with warm gold and red. “Look up, Son. Lift your vision.”

Peace washed over him; it was beautiful. But if he knew his Grandpa… “This is about Jesus, isn’t it, Grandpa?” Kevin said, surprising himself with a chuckle.

“Yep,” Grandpa said with a touch of smugness in his grin. Kevin laughed out loud.

And the next two hours