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My Coronado

The dense air thickens as it sweeps the salty ocean mist into the air and flies through my hair and up my sleeves. Chills crawl onto my arms and up my neck as the brisk wind works its way through my body, unintentionally waking me from the tiredness of the early morning. The sun dodges every hole in the heavy clouds as it begins to creep over the dark horizon, shooting out ribbons of purple and pink into the vast sky. Never coming out to warm my face.

The coldness disappears as the view of the blue oasis consumes my senses. I watched the great, icy mass, in constant movement. One would not notice its sounds without focusing on the slow rise and crash of the waves. The water swells upward, ignoring the rules of gravity, then peak white with foam, curls, and slams back down. The glorious cycle of reaching for shore, then drawing back is famous for its tranquility. Though, it’s sound is not the only weapon at the water’s dispense. The victims of this harmonious creation will experience a feeling unmatched when they breathe in the salty spray that tightens their skin. The endless abyss stretches as far as the eye can reach and beyond. This is the one place that nature has the power to take hold of a person’s entire mind and body. The short life we are given is being quickly pushed along with the stress and hardship we suffer. As if the world were a machine that squeezes all purpose out of one soul then discards them without a second thought. Therefore I would not take this opportunity for granted, when standing small before the endless waves of an aquatic paradise.

To my left, large rocks sit in a bundle on the shore, disrupting the perfect pattern of the fine tide again and again.The water becomes confused, creating beautiful uneven lines before retreating back. The boulders break the harmonious sound, creating their own rhythm. The symphony is always changing, but its beauty never falters. The icy water comes closer to my toes that have burrowed in the sand, afraid to feel the sting of it. After standing still for so long, every movement my muscles make is exaggerated. I feel my foot lift from the ground as I propel it forward and onto the darker wet sand. The other routinely follows. They sink into the spongy, damp sand. I watch the water edge up the shore again, and brace myself. I long for that collision with the water and to feel its piercing touch on my bare skin. The irony amuses me as I stand willingly waiting for the slightly painful sensation as the water crawls closer and closer. The time my feet are dry passes quickly and the water rushes up. In an instant my feet are engulfed in tingles and I become alert and awake. The water delivers a new message to my brain and goosebumps cover my legs, but inside I couldn’t feel warmer.

I remember why I love this moment. This is the time that does not come often enough. I take one more step and my ankles are swept under the mixture of sand and water. The ground feels like it is moving from underneath me, the tiny grains tickle my vulnerable feet. I know I am safe here. Now my mind is clear, excluding the thought of the nirvana I am privileged to experience. The smooth, chilling air blows less fiercely now, and the sun releases a brilliant orange glow across the sky as the clouds begin to thin.

I breathe deep, my chest expands and becomes tight, no longer allowing air to advance into my lungs. The air streams back out. I let it trail on as long as possible, releasing all negative feelings and thoughts my body holds back. I hear a light crunching of the sand, and look to my left. I am overwhelmed by the sight of a dozen Navy Seals in their matching navy blue shirts, running towards me. The dim light from the sun makes the sweat on their faces glisten. They come close and my lips tighten and curl into a smile, hopefully forcing all the appreciation I have for these brave men into one gesture. The man in front returns the favor, followed by the rest.
They rush past me; their faces express pain and determination to reach their destination. Our days would continue differently. They hustle down the otherwise empty beach. I stroll along in the wet sand with complete relaxation.

The water carries out its daily sequence, slowly progressing up the shore to my toes, then reluctantly making its descent. My legs automatically match my steps to the rhythm of the waves. My eyes gradually lose focus of the breath taking horizon and move down to my feet that are now surrounded by kaleidoscopic shining shells. Homes of slimy little creatures who have laid their bodies on the surface of the beach, showing off their natural elegance. One is a pearly white with a deep purple frame, another striped with bright orange and chocolate brown; all of them perfectly smooth with a shiny gloss finish. Their stunning, unique patterns never cease to amaze me.

The almost transparent slimy creatures ooze out and onto the saturated ground. I watch the water sweep up and snatch them. I am astonished at their strength and ability to grasp the loose ground while being pulled away. Placing my foot in front of the water, diverging it from a shell about to slip away, I save the tiny critter from getting sucked back. The small splash sends glistening tears of the icy water onto my calf, introducing my skin to the chilling sensation again. The shell sinks into the sand and out of sight.

The vacant shells are just as intriguing. From tiny butterflies to large sand dollars and everything in between. I look critically down at the small souvenirs, surpassing the cracked and broken, and pocketing the others I am content with. I am sure to hold each one under the cold water, washing away the sticky sand and feeling the glossy shell.

The sand rolls under my feet as I continue my walk, watching carefully to not step on the tiniest of living beings. Early risers are welcomed by the sun’s presence now, and the beach is occupied by others. The wind is light, and it is softly caressing my chilled skin. The area becomes crowded quickly, everyone wants a piece of paradise now. I breathe in again and my mouth waters at the salty spray in the air. The foaming and crashing of the waves continues flawlessly as it’s admirers gaze in awe.





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