Image by eszter via Flickr
In the pre-dawn silence I walked along the water's edge, shoes in my hand, feeling the soft lapping of the waves upon my feet. The cold was a welcome contrast against the heavy stillness of the air. Time seemed frozen there, on the empty beach as I waited for the morning sun to arise. My eyes had grown accustomed to the lack of light, so that as slivers of orange and red and gold began to break above the surface of the water I had to squint against the brightness.
Stepping a few paces back from the water, I sat in the sand, watching the colourful display unfold. Another morning was beginning, like the day before, and the next, an endless progression of days that seemed to hold no meaning.
“Things fall apart, the centre does not hold” I remembered reading somewhere, and the words fit the pattern of my thoughts. The thoughts of a teenager that indeed was prone to over dramatize, to try to fit my life into a poetry of sorts.
My eyes were dry and scratchy, the lack of rest cracking in the corners. One night? Two? More? I couldn't remember the last time I felt the peace of sleep and so wanted to be overcome.
I had come here alone to walk the shore, to wonder at the beauty, to find something I didn't know I was missing without knowing what that something was. There is no treasure map to follow when you don't know what you're looking for. My hands dug deep in the sand around where I sat, the grit of it caking under fingernails, not chewed but picked at, leaving them sharp, short and uneven. Sand sifted through hands that felt they could hold nothing and a heart that was learning not to try.
Then I spotted it, just an arms reach away, something catching the light in the sand; a small piece of glass, worn smooth around the edges, a milky opaque green created by water, and sand and time. I placed in the pocket of my jeans, rubbing it between my fingers and returned to treading along the beach.
And all at once, there was the day, stretching out before me as I wondered, “what next?”
I was too young to have no purpose, no goals, nothing to aim at. No course was set. No wonder time seem to stretch out endlessly, no scheduled separated the hours.
“I have nowhere to go and no one to be” I thought. “Did I ever have a plan?”
At fourteen I paced the shoreline and tried to remember dreams.
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