The blazing sun is persistent midday, heedlessly burning my skin as I made my way towards the crashing waves. I walked with uttermost wariness while the bottoms of my feet began to blister with every step I took into the scorching sand. I stumbled forward over a shell sending it flying into the ocean. I got up and irritably wiped the sand off my body and the backpack I was carrying. I approached the ocean and was stung by a sudden attack of a wave which quickly retreated back. The warmth of the water was more uncomfortable than welcoming. Fear and resentment swelled up inside of me as I turned away from the ocean, letting the tears roll down my face.
I walked to the edge of the beach where the waves don’t reach, pulled a towel out my bag and laid it out on the sand. I sat down and hugged my knees to my chest. I watched the water as it was rising and falling in a rhythmic pattern as if it were breathing out sighs of reassurance. A mother appeared on the beach walking alongside her husband and son, pausing when they reached the lining of the ocean admiring the softly crashing waves. A wave approached them and they calmly allowed the water to flow between their toes. I was surprised as the oceans immensity doesn’t seem to be intimidating to them. The son let go of the mothers hand and she watched him run out into the ocean, shouting joyfully as a flock of seagulls ascend into the sky.
The sun slowly set and I watched as the world around me turned multiple colours. The reflection of the sky reflected onto the more raging water. An old couple walked slowly on the beach hand in hand with their shoes in their other hand. I imagined them remembering all their memories they spent on the beach. Perhaps the ocean was a constant in their life? All the moments they experienced by the water must have been beautiful to them even when the ocean was raging. As they departed I decided that I would return tomorrow to try conquer my fear again, for what feels like the hundredth time.
Darkness had quickly settled over the beach and only light that was present was the produced by the moon. As I picked up and dusted the sand off my towel, “hello ma’am, are you on your way home?” I recognised the lifeguard of the beach’s voice “yes, thank you” and he nodded. “Can I ask you a question?” “Sure Alex” I replied. He hesitated “You’ve come here every day for the past week, why?” I looked at him and nodded my head, “I once read that it’s a biological fact that humans have the same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, we are tied to the ocean and maybe if I overcome my fear of the ocean I just might be able to find myself.” He smiled and nodded, then started to walk away, “I’ll see you tomorrow again ma’am”.
The next day I approached the ocean tentatively as the sun just began to rise, sending rays of luminance across the sky. My feet sank into the satin sand while the tiny grains flowed beneath them, conforming to my every step. The restless waves slowly crept towards me and tickled my toes with the slightest touch. I smiled and a thought crossed my mind that maybe the ocean isn’t as scary as what I imagined. Curiously, I walked into the sea, letting the water embrace me. For the first time in a long time I felt unafraid. I danced with the turquoise waves and wondered what it would be like to be wrapped forever in the security of the ocean. I felt a weight gradually lift off my shoulders as I felt no longer afraid.
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