Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beach Evening

I set down my purple and blue woven cloth bag by a tree very near the sand. The grass was already full of colorful beach towels and sand buckets where families had come for a late-afternoon swim. The area was of fair size - plenty of parking, and the buoyed-off water reaching some 75 yards in width and perhaps 30 in length. There were little girls running around in one-piece bathing suits wearing small life jackets, little boys tromping through the sand in their swim trunks and bare chests, just like dad. Whoops and hollers could be heard constantly, coming from various corners of the beach and lake. Boats sped by now and then, sending torrent waves crashing into toddlers and carrying stones back out to sea (lake really, but it sounds poetic).

I walked the short distance to the sand and felt its blaze soak into the soles of my feet. I felt the sun set my chest on fire. Felt the wind whipping at my curls and let my hair down. The sky was perfectly blue. Cloudless, was a shame, yet attractive for its purity. And directly above the water front shone a white sun, too bright to stare at for more than a glimpse of the human eye. The sky around it was white, and faded softly into the blue that became the rest. The star's reflection played upon the dancing waves and glittered in my eye; created a path of light that led toward the horizon, though I knew I would never be able to reach it.

I walked peacefully and curiously into the water, paying close attention to how it lapped at my ankles- how I could feel the tiny currents of water there in the shallows as they whisked past my calves, my knees, thighs, submerge.

I let the water overtake me. I was at a loss of freedom, a loss of will in the water. One can move optionally, but her movements are always only permissible by the authority of the waves. We exist in a different medium when we subjugate ourselves to an overwhelming matter.

I dove beneath the orange buoy on the far left side and emerged in the open water. There was an overgrowth of green water grass not far from me and a large log caught in the mass that had run aground and now served as a sitting log of sorts. I waded far enough out into the murky blue expanse to just let my knees touch the lake floor and to let the leftover waves of ski jets and speeders caress my shoulders. I gazed out at the open field and felt unified with the earth. Then felt funny for being so incredibly dazed. I was unashamed still.

Alone with the greatest single expanse of matter on earth- water. I've decided that if I could choose my manner of death, I would go stoned, naked, and in the water. I simply cannot imagine anything more natural, anything more peaceful.

As the waves became more intense, I felt the sand at my feet for a large rock and eventually bumped into one. I wrapped my legs around it in a meditative sort of way and then floated with the currents and tides, being pulled out to sea, then thrust back toward land. I wrote this poem in my mind...

I came with the water
As each wave gently,
Then more forcibly,
Pushed me back and forth
Atop the rock beneath my body.

I penned the lyrics later, but my mind worked constantly in a novel-esque way. I saw four ducks swimming near the banks close by and, rather than simply noting their presence, found myself narrating the scene. "Their feathers sent beads of water rippling down their backs as they glided along the surface of the water. Green, brown, slight traces of blue, their feathers. They waddled up to the sand and shook their heads, crinkled their bodies, and returned the clear molecules to their mother." I couldn't stop writing my life.

As the sun set and turned a certain hue of yellow, I swam back under the orange buoy and waded up to sit in the shallows of the water where I could stare into the path of light that shimmering orb cast onto the waves. Children and parents still played together in the marked off arena. Girls flirted with boys, boys tried to climb buoys to impress the girls. Mothers sat under trees reading books and reapplying sunscreen to the "forgetful" kids. Fathers tossed terrified children into the water and watched them come up laughing and screaming, smiles from ear to ear. I observed.

My evening was made perfect by the presence of life. Life I saw bursting from energetic kids, life in the trees, life at work in the atoms that comprise water molecules. I sat there absorbing the life, my soul gorging itself on nature's beauty. My eyes felt brighter from the sun, my body felt cleansed by the sand.

I stood up and wrung out my tank top and shorts. My hair was fairly dry from sitting in the shallows so long. I pulled it back into a bun and made my way to the shade tree where sat my bag and other items. Swig of water, flip flops, car keys. I felt swimming in the water that that moment would last an eternity. I was there for no more than an hour, but like Blake, my time was not dependent on linear movement. I felt eternity in an hour. And even as I have come home and left today in my memories, I still feel the eternity of that moment echoing in my thoughts and spirit. It healed much of me. Brought comfort and peace. It was one of those days that I'll never remember for its events, but will forever carry the beauty and love I received from the experience.

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