As a child, I treasured how the sun reflected down on the sand beneath my feet, like my own reflection in a mirror. I cherished the feeling of the cool, calm blankets of blue satin, washing over my skin, tugging for me to come and play. I loved walking along the golden mountain, picking up dozens of potato chip shells, while listening to the hungry cries of the seagulls. One morning, I awoke to the crescendo of waves sending their voices up the hill and through my cracked window. As I lay in my bed, the ocean’s breath tickled my nose and I inhaled the salty aroma of my ancestors tears. I rose from my bed and glided down the hallway and out the front door, not realizing I had forgotten to put on my glimmering locket with my name carved on the front. Walking across the rickety wooden boardwalk, I wondered if the dolphins would leap out of the water to dance with me. But, on this morning, as I finished crossing the boardwalk and approached the mountainous dunes, I saw that the frozen ocean stretched to the horizon like a white desert. The sea was dark and turbulent, hiding a deep secret beneath its murky waters. Next to me two seagulls stood silently, ominously gazing out at the ocean’s vast expanse as the cutting wind sliced against their feathers. The quiet and the stillness was unsettling as I recalled last summer when the seagulls had squawked and stretched their wings, trying desperately to sneak a piece of hamburger from a vacationer’s picnic. Where were the bright specks of umbrellas that dotted the seashore during summertime? Where were the sandcastles and buckets of happy children that played gleefully along the shore? The sky above was gray and the clouds scoweled down on me as they clapped their giant hands together for Hades and their freezing tears fell, cascading down onto my back. I walked closer to the shore, and stood mesmerized by sea, as angry as bull, while its waves pounded into the earth. Its churning waters threatened my dancing dolphins as its tsunami crashed onto the seaside, causing me to jump back. I wanted to leave. I turned and walked back to the boardwalk, vowing to never again visit this angry wintertime beach. I turned back for one last glance before I headed home. The seagulls had not moved. They stood silently on the cold, lifeless sand, without the crawling crabs climbing upward for air. They too, seemed mesmerized by the dark and lonely sea.
January 13, 2013