The sounds of the ocean were little lapping melodies, all laid over each other. And the many little sounds were set against a much steadier rumbling - the slow pound of the tide against the rocks and pier pilings, which beat and murmured like a pulse. A wind came off the sea and chilled the pier crowd, who sat on benches and leaned over railings casually, unhurriedly. The planet felt young today. The Earth was coming into its peak years, you could feel it, you could feel the pull of adulthood and the sweet aftertaste of an active and beautiful adolescence. Today the Earth was young and lean and powerful, like the gulls and cormorants freefalling to her turbulent water, the pelicans surfing boat wake, the fisherman leaning their poles against the cold metal rail, the little sailboats circling in the harbor.