Well that’s a nice word. Just that it takes on a new meaning when you actually realize that’s what’s happening. That hey, yer old enough to realize it. Sometimes its really sweet, it makes you laugh, sometimes you cry, sometimes you just sit quiet and go though it, whatever it is that you feel.
Well this time, I just went through it quietly. It felt nice.
Like I said the experience changes as you get older.
I went to the beach this week. I went there after a long time. And this is the longest I have been there. I would have liked it to been different, but everything was smooth as it could be.
After a year, my toes were in the sand once more.
This time I walked silent behind my uncle and cousin who accompanied ( or took me there rather), enjoying that I had my space to think even in company.
I watched the sand under my feet, I remembered the junk I saw the last time I was there, washed up shore by the water. I saw couples in close whispering huddles as ever there was a beach before. But I noticed all this in detail this once. I was old enough to know these things… old enough to relish it. Old enough to realize the importance of every tiny thing.
Then the water. Ah the pleasure of going to the beach.
I remembered as I stood there trying to dodge waves from soaking my branded jeans, that going to the beach had been an exciting adventure when I was a kid.
I would pester my uncle, who would take us out to different place to take me out to the beach
It really was an adventure. I’d get all hyped up when he agreed to take my sister and I out or offer it in the first place. I would wait for three o clock to come. I’d run around the house trying to find things I could use as a replacement for the plastic shovel my uncle bought me so many times that always got broken. I searched around frantically for sticks and color paper that I could fashion into the flags I would stick on top of my beautiful sand castle.
Oh those sand castles. I’d already dream of my beautiful tall, gorgeous, perfect sandcastles I would build this time I went to the beach, just like the ones in story books and Tv that they build in beaches. Somehow to this day, all my sand castle or alligator or mountain ended up looking like was a mound of wet sand with a tiny flag stuck on it.
But through the disappointment in my innocent little heart then, I would always take pleasure in jumping down on it at the end when we were to leave.
I remember very vaguely, that sometimes this was a family trip, minus my dad of course. (You could never leave office for stuff like this could you? Bread winner after all)
When I was tiny enough to run amok in my knickers and a thin slip, get completely drenched and run back to my mum who would hold out the towel like all mummies do.
Change inside that very towel into dry clothes in the middle of the beach.
I saw other kids doing this at the beach the day I went, and I laughed to myself.
Man! That’s so embarrassing, I was so tiny. And heck it was so much fun.
I’d jump up and down in the water, splash terribly, but always had to hold the hand of an elder. The tiny imp would drown otherwise. A little older and I used to brag about being able to stand without a protective grip on my tiny hand.
Taking a walk away from my present party, with music in my ears, water under me, my shoes in my hand, pants all rolled up, I felt so clam. It was a fantastic experience in that I was nostalgic ‘and’ felt like one of those scenes from the movies where people would walk on the shore thinking. Hehe, well I was there and I was walking.
Once all grown up, when I went to the beach with my friends, I looked out into that vast unending ocean and thought, Wow that’s huge. Then the hopeless romantic in me took over. I wondered if my Tasuki was standing somewhere in the world, where the very waters I stood in would touch his feet and tell him that I was waiting. Sappy right, well I actually thought it, and blushed to myself. I really thanked the heavens that my friends were too busy to see this or read my mind.
On this recent trip I had alone time. I thought the same thing this time around too. Only now I didn’t have to blush. I thought, wow that would be wonderful, and you know what, that’s actually possible. I looked up at the blue crimson sky and smiled.
I saw the distant ships and tankers in the horizon that I used to point with fascination at and question about unendingly, when I was a kid. I saw the lights in the growing darkness and wondered what my good friend who had recently joined the navy was doing and thinking of then.
A little alone time and my party joined me. We watched land crabs running in search of shelter, walked in sometimes awkward silence and turned back to sit down on the sand as it grew dark.
Wow this was it, I was at the beach after sunset. So this is what it was like.
Catching a few shots of the setting sky’s colors with my uncle’s iphone, I put my earphones back on, and took another tiny walk, stood in the water and just listened to the music. I shut it off for a while and just listened to the waves. I realized that it wasn’t a matter of how far or big the waves were or in which direction they came from. They always had the same sound, same rhythm. That fascinated me. It was terribly calming. I smiled again as I thought of the sounds that I liked so much that might seem weird to others.
The rumbling of an international flight with monstrous engines running, about to land close by when I was at college, the waves at their angriest lashes, the whooshing of a cyclone etc. I was happy.
We walked back and I realized some more things about the people I was with at the beach then. That will be saved for another soul session.
To run the point home, I caught words of seals sitting nearby, eating bajji on the beach.
“I was in the ship all the time. I don’t know what more I’m expected to do. I felt so…”
Well I smiled thinking of my friend again, I was supposed to think of him then, I knew it.
To my pleasant surprise the bloke actually called me up the next day. Hmmm, the power of thoughts. Well the waters I stood in reached someone at least.
We walked back to the car and I thought. Wow for people in a city, the ocean and hills should seem an adventure and a sight for sore eyes. Its impossible to not be happy at seeing them. This should be true, I thought, at least for ones like me who actually never had been taken on vacations like they normally are supposed to. I turned back and smiled.
God, I love the beach, even if it is dirty and in my dirty little city.
A small part of a quote kept ringing in my head the whole time we walked on wet sand.
“…Foot prints in the sands of time….” , I knew I had a long way to go before I would understand why this thought repeated itself. But I knew it was something important and deep. It would change my life when I knew.
As I reached home that night, I had a smile that no one saw. Well inside my head and heart. I was content. So all in all, I actually had adventure at the beach again. It didn’t matter if I was a hyper kid or a stressed adult. The beach is always the beach.