“The sun shone on my smiling face, raised toward the sky and with closed eyes. Warmth engulfed me in bright lights as I looked west. A cool breeze rolled over me; the contrasting temperatures made my skin tingle. I opened my eyes and before me, the blue sea and blue sky merged on the horizon. This is the view I love the most in life: golden sand and sun encompassing an azure field, like a gold ring encrusted with a lustrous sapphire gem. I’d been to this beach many times before and was quite familiar with it. It is one of the places to which I can escape to ponder and reflect, rid of the outside world and its troubles, but over time, I came to realize the wonder that it truly is.
Surfers, swimmers, and sunbathers dotted the coastline in both directions, as far as the eye can see. In the distance, I saw fishermen at the end of the pier, patiently waiting for their next catch. I gave a cursory glance at the beachgoers to my left, then to my right, and faded into their collective bliss. I found myself a spot on the sand away from the ruckus of running children and family get-togethers, yet not entirely secluded. I sat there quietly, digging my bare feet into the cool sand beneath the surface, and began to contemplate the condition of all things. I listened to the waves as they rolled in and out like a metronome, immanent and enduring, keeping my thoughts in rhythm.
I gazed into the distance upon the jagged crests on the water. They sat mysteriously still from my perspective, perhaps owing to the grand scale people often forget to appreciate. I wondered what it would be like to sit in the middle of it all, seeing only water in every direction. I further tried to imagine how far I could traverse the sea before reaching land again, but any concept of how massive the distance would be eluded me. It must have been over ten thousand miles from shore to shore. I had a sudden realization: this was the true face of the Earth. You could journey over half the world’s surface and never stumble upon dry land. Humanity’s great civilizations were a minority on this planet, overshadowed by a blue haze which housed untold secrets. I was humbled at this thought. I looked at the sand beneath me and imagined myself only a single grain in an astronomical mass of grains, seaweed, sand crabs, and seashells. Everything I knew and loved which resided on solid ground paled in comparison to the vast flowing expanse.
As I smiled at my new found appreciation for the world, the sun began to set. Crimson beams of light radiated from a rather unfamiliar orange disc. It isn’t often you are able to look directly at the sun, but when you can, you learn to appreciate that as well. As the surfers paddled out for their final runs and families gathered their belongings, I took in the last remaining daylight and stored it in my memory to keep. I’d never been so passionate about life; it was as if I had been shown a world of infinite possibility and discovery. I got one final look up and down the coast, at the edge of the world, and walked home.” - jcl <3