Shoreside Musings: Thoughts by the Beach

A photo of the beach, with the cloudy sky in the background and shrubbery in the foreground.

Going to the beach feels like a dream.
The soft yellow sand feels like melting into a cloud, my feet sinking deeper, slowing my movement.
Everything echoes. The wind whips through my ears, painting the warm glow of the sun with strokes of chilled air. Seagulls shriek and it reverberates, sounding distant and close all at once.
I wade into the water. It’s warmer than I expect and the tide pulls the sand around my feet, trying to drag me with it and I’m half-tempted to follow. I’m in a trance, the swaying of the waves lulling me into a state of contended numbness. I could fall asleep right here.
The seafoam forms veins on the underside of waves and I see that the ocean is a living thing. Infinite living organisms reside below the surface.
Tiny molluscs, hermit crabs, sandworms. Further out, little reef-dwelling fish like clownfish, tetras. Somewhere out there, sharks and stingrays and whales. And deeper than that, far deeper, creature that survive enormous pressure and no visible light. Unknown ghosts. Creatures unseen. What monstrosities lie at the bottom of the ocean? Will we ever know?
The shallows are calm, the shallows are safe and relaxing. But as I think about letting the tide take me to its home, I remember the vastness of the ocean, its hunger. It is a mystery covered in a blue veil. We see the ocean as a novelty, as an addition to our average lives on the land, but the ocean is much greater than the small patches of dirt where we make our home. It could swallow us whole, and perhaps will.
Sitting on the soft sand now, warming my legs by the sun, I can’t bring myself to be afraid of the ocean, even though the deep sea terrifies me. I’m hit with a wave of lethargy, a pleasant one, and though I’m staring into the impossibly large leviathan that is the sea and all its terrors, I’ve never felt more at peace.

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