It is the place where I came as a small child to play castles and dungeons in tunnels built with small, tan fingers. It is the place where the sounds that frightened me were all at once drowned by the peaceful roar of the giant ocean, where the wind broke free the strands of my hair so they would fall loosely around my forehead and cheeks, uncatchable in the salty breeze, and I would forget Things that were Big. I would get Lost in this piece of the Earth, this strip nearly noticeable on a map, this Magical and Bright Land of Sand and Water, where nothing, nothing mattered except what I knew in those moments.
All these years later, this Place remains.Shiny sand, blue- tan bright, windy and full of castles washed away by the overflow of dungeon moats. A thousand laughs muffled by a million waves crashing, the sound of which lulls me to sleep as salt dries tiny shells almost-permanent to my warm skin. I am quiet on the Beach. I think a lot. I remember and I forget and I move sand and make mountains and carve waterways and words with my shovel.
Like a child.
I watch my children's eyes cautiously drink up the Ocean until all they can see is covered up with this endless Sea, until all they have is right now, this moment, and their questions stop and their worry ceases and it is just This. Here. Now.
I feel like the smallest girl, the biggest person, the oldest of the Wise, the coolest mother, here, in the ocean, showing them how to catch a wave.
How to control the Ocean, and not let the Ocean control you.
How to know when to go, when to stay, and how when things don't look too good, you can't run. You must instead go into it, go inside of it, dive right in.
How they'll be okay after that. How another wave will come and be just right, just perfect, just for Them.
And they look. And they listen.
And they run in.
Unafraid and free.
And all at once my Fears are muffled by the laughter of my children, a sound brighter and louder than the waves crashing at my feet and pulling at my shadow. Things that are Big, if only momentarily, disappear into the brightness of the sky, the glare of the sand, the shimmer in the crests of the moving water.
Nothing mattered except that I knew, in those moments, that things were right. That this was right. And perhaps even, that I had done something right.
I knew that a wave had come. My wave.
And I was inside of it.I had dove in. Headfirst.
And it was just perfect.
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