Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Manhattan Beach
Having grown up in Southern California, I spent a great deal of time at the beach. And although I loved the heat of the day, my favorite time was just after sunset at twilight. The quality of light on a clear evening makes everything just a bit more magical because it is an in-between time—not day, but not fully night. The moon shines off the breaking waves in a silver line and the lights on the small pier shine out over the water.
Several years ago, I was walking along the shore, watching the fishermen drop their lines from the pier and thinking. Suddenly, there was a shout and then a growing commotion. A young man was attracting a crowd as he walked down the pier, dragging his line through the water. As he got closer to the shore, I saw his catch. It was a huge ray with at least an eight-foot wingspan, and it was angry.
The water churned as the ray tried to swim away, thrashing through the waves. The moon shone off of its silky gray skin, and I swear its eyes showed intelligence.
That ray was aware it was about to meet its fate.
I tore my own eyes away from the scene as the fisherman and his entourage slowly fought the ray and hauled it in. I didn't want to watch that magnificent creature come to an end. Not on that beach, not in that light.
There is something desperately beautiful about any living thing fighting for its very existence, even if the outcome is death.