( a collection of independent vignettes)
Can you hear it?
At first, it sounds like the release of a long held breath. The kind where there are no bills in the mail, all of the work is done for the day, and everyone is home where they belong. Relief. The feeling floods you and makes the world safe. Then, when it breathes in, you turn your attention to it. Though not always because you wanted to. Sometimes it pulls at your mind so much it gives you no choice. Don’t be alarmed… all within a certain radius sense its pull. The air it carries is infused with its own special magic.
And the sight itself is beautiful.
The water has a pattern that plays over and over. It’s hypnotizing… and endless. Breathing out and coming forward, and breathing in and pulling back. It will play this game forever… and after it captures your eyes for longer than a glance you will want to play too.
It helps if it’s hot outside but that isn’t always necessary for some. On occasion even when the wind blows frost, I’ve witnessed the most steadfast soul become drowned in just the allure of the waves.
With each step closer the sand molds to your feet and again that safe feeling returns. Each grain wants you there, and each step sinks your heels deeper and deeper into the warmth of the ground.
It doesn’t matter that by the time you reach the end of the path your arches are burning because the water is right there kissing the fire away. A reward for making the long trek across the desert to say hello.
Back and forth, teasing you and bringing that relief again and again. Why bother with the game, when the ocean whispers to you just come a little closer and we never have to part.
Can you hear it?
Just a few more steps and now the water has a hold on your ankles. It feels like ice cream on a parched throat, a shower after playing in the mud, a fan blowing in your face. Safe. Oh so safe.
It isn’t until it’s caressing your waist that you hesitate. Some don’t even realize that they have gone that far out. It’s from feeling the pulse of the wind across the water, it’s from the crushing blue color of the sky and the sea meeting, it’s from dodging the waves that never stop coming.
Maybe this is too far.
The ocean is at its strongest by the time you reach this point. Everywhere you turn there’s water and the last time you checked there was no oxygen down there. Something rough scrapes against your heel and you jump moving a little bit deeper to get away. It was probably a sea shell.
I’m sure it was.
But the last part to this play is when the ocean’s breath no longer sounds like a sigh. Listen.
Now, it’s screaming. The realization hits you fast. The water moves by itself. It has no alligience to me. Or you. It does what it wants, and right now it is holding you in its hand. The feeling of safety drains from your body like sand down a hourglass as the next wave smashes into your mouth. A bitter taste of salt and seaweed. It’s this moment that you realize you could die.
Just come a little closer and we never have to part…
The tune never changes. Even though your feelings have. So you stand stuck trapped in what was once such a beautiful thing and, though your pounding heart will now say otherwise, it still is…
Can you hear the breath of the ocean? And if you do…
Are you strong enough to beat its game?