Calm is one of the most dangerous things. It lulls you in, makes you comfortable. That's when the bad things happen. It’s funny how calm creeps up on you. That is what is happening to me. The gentle sounds, the beautiful sights. I hear them, feel them so close. Too close. They are suddenly upon me, a liquid calm devouring everything around me. The waves lick my toes, and that is when I know I have let the calm take me to a place I may not be able to return from.
Today is the day we arrive back in Maine, on a hot summer’s afternoon. I see the gardens lush with violet lilacs surrounding my Grandparent’s cottage as my family pulls up. Hugs and laughs and kisses are given. As my parents make conversation with Grampa and my siblings squabble, I dig out my book from my bag. The little green cover is calling to me. My grandmother asks me if I want a snack as I hold my book and gaze out of the window at the shoreline. Instead of answering I look at her, and she looks back. With a nod of her head she excuses me. She knows where I am headed. She lets me free with a short warning about the tide and the time. With a smile and a nod, I shove on my flip flops and dash out the door with my book in hand. I pace past the rocky beach and onto the first steps of the stony shoreline cliffs. I feel the warm late afternoon sun shining on my back. Further up the grey rocks now, I see the blue ocean lapping stones farther below as I walk. I arrive at my secret spot where I always go, with its little tide pool shining cerulean in the sun. I lay on the warm stone with my book and begin to read.
Here, I lose track of time. I turn page after page of writing, a story that is taking me whole. The farther I get into my story, the less I care for the outside world. I am lulled by the calm of my little spot. Distantly I hear the wash of the waves, louder now. The sun blazes around me, from yellows to purples to blues as my shadow creeps around me. Still I read on, calmed.
Something cool touches my toes. Shocked, I close my book and look up. It is the waves. Obsidian and menacing, they tickle my feet once more, and now reach up to my ankles in a cool caress. As I look around at my surroundings, I realize the burnishing sun has left me alone with the absolute raven color of the night. I have lost the time to my story, my calm. I have forgotten my grandmother's warning. High tide has hit, and I am alone on my rocks, surrounded by creeping water. All I see as I look is the black quiet waves, and dark, dark, dark every direction. I am stuck, abandoned by the calm that has left only fear in its wake as the water climbs higher up my body. I am frightened by the endless darkness that seems to be swallowing me whole. I sit alone now, with my story clutched to my chest like it is some kind of lifeline to keep away the darkness that surrounds everything.
Suddenly, from the dark one light bobs out to me, like a beacon of hope. I peer past it as my eyes adjust. I see my grandmother in the zodiac with a flashlight, calling to me. With a shout of jubilation I watch as her boat stutters closer and closer. I climb into the zodiac with the peeling white paint out of the waves. She hugs me to her. I say I am scared of the dark, but she tells just smiles and tells me to look up. And there, winking through the night sky are thousands of white stars, shining light down on me. Everything seems to get brighter. With this, we motor away from my little spot. Just me, my little green book, and all those stars.