Beauty

Harnessing all the beauty this world has to offer maybe be a challenge. But I am more than willing to take on that challenge. There may be a lot of bad that is thrown at us, but that bad always seems to be laced with a little good.

How can you not look at all the wreckage and carnage without hoping for something better to come of it? What about the miraculous scenery the earth bestows upon us? When you look into the ocean, do you not feel like there is something bigger out there? What about the colors in the sky as day time begins to rest? Don’t they make you see the world in a different view? I want to see all that is out there. Whether on home or foreign soil, I want to capture every little bit of the good and hold onto it forever. I feel too deeply about life to just let the negativity squander my views. It may not be easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. I hope I can gaze upon very grain of sand, make a wish on every dandelion in my path, and feel all of God’s power with every storm.

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Underwater Dive.

I never knew just how beautiful things were under the water, until today. I decided to appease my inner tourist and go for the deal the professional diver had to offer. The boat cut the waves like a knife, but they would retort back and buck the bow causing a powerful jolt. Finally the diver was satisfied in our whereabouts and pulled the boat perpendicular to this bony looking structure poking it’s way through the Ocean’s surface.

With our gear securely tied and plastered to our bodies we took the plunge. I could feel the coolness of the water encase my body. I delayed letting my eyelids open, for fear of landing in on a family of sharks. Once they slowly broke their tight seal and crept open, I found myself in a world full of a beautiful array of colors. Not even a rainbow over a colorful sunset could hold a candle to the view before me. Mesmerized in the beauty I failed to notice all the little creatures that had began to find me interesting. Playful seahorses swam circles around me trying to tempt my inner child, clown fish swam in and out of the anemones playing peek a boo, and small schools of topically colored fish played tag, in and out of the playhouse the coral reef had to offer. I mimicked the fish and swam through, around, over, and under the structure of the coral reef twirling in amazement.

This place was something of pure bliss, something that the world had left untouched allowing it’s natural beauty to shine through. Gazing all around a sense of purpose washed over me, leaving me feeling satisfied with my life. There wasn’t a better way to see the world’s colors than the way I had experienced. This once-in-a-lifetime-chance left me with the addiction to live life to the fullest and explore all the treasures this world has to offer.

Unity.

She strolled along the white sand; Mesmerized by the waves’ soft touch. With each step she pushed the gritty ground until the clumps toppled around her toes. The pier stood mangled and jagged in the salty mist. The clouds that welcomed themselves two days prior, have realized their worn-out welcome. Magenta slathered, fluffy clouds have proudly taken their place. The sun tore through the fluff, emanating warmth over her bronzed skin. She tilted her head in welcome of the rays. Her long sun-kissed hair cascaded over her shoulders, stretching down her back. She brought her eyes  to a slow opening until she shot her focus back to the weathered structure down the beach.

She let her heart pick up speed, pounding through her ribs, and raising her shirt with each pulsation. Without consciousness her legs moved more swiftly in pace until she was bolting down the stretch of land. The mist began to clear with each stride. The adrenaline lifted as the salt-weathered, wooden beams came in closer proximity. The waves pounded the beams in attempt to aggravate their stance. Despite the power against them, the proud beams stood tall.

She wrapped herself around a beam that was only kissed by the waves. Her breathing mimicked the rhythm  of the ocean. In the tranquil wake, her eyes slowly shut. The pulsation of the waves emanated up the beam. Her heartbeat became internally audible. With each break along the shore the two pulsations began to come together as one. She realized her heartbeat was in tune with the oceans’.

Ocean Perspective.

People from all walks of life come to me. Some run, some stumble, and some blissfully stroll the edge of me. I can tell you which ones are meant to be here, which ones have never left here, and which ones have never even wanted to come here. Everyday I create a scene, in the eyes of God, that would leave a pessimist feeling warm inside and lead an atheist to redemption.

I offer an oasis to some and an anchor to others, both literal and figurative. I’ve realized over my lifespan that for some I offer more than just a place to surf or swim, but a place to heal. I offer a place to find yourself again and I let you find new life though God. Not one person views myself the same as another. I find that I can describe that aspect inspiring and yet troubling all in the same breath. No matter what I am to some I am different to others. I scare some, encourage some, stifle some, and uplift some. I never do the same thing for one person as I do for another, and I’m content with that. I appreciate the career God has laid out for me and I never want to be anything more than who I am, the Ocean.

Ocean Senses.

The colors and hues swim in each eye.

The salt tingles each nostril.

The sands dust each hand.

The blissful pleasure ignites each tastebud.

The tradewinds calm each ear.

                                                 The waves soothe every soul.

Tantalizing Waves.

Rushing and pounding the shore with a tantalizing orchestra of crashing.  Enough to calm the storm inside and relinquish the fury that has been bottled. Giving direction to the ships and taking direction from the man in the moon. Waves.

Waves can deliver the chill down each individual vertebrae composing your spine. They deliver the ocean-made shells to the shore for all the locals and tourist to revel in discovering. Waves, can carry a power almost as strong as God himself and yet can be  as gentle as a small infant. These tantalizing works of nature can take your breath right from your lungs in amazement of their natural beauty. You’ll never experience anything like an ocean derived wave.

Salt kissed from the heavens above, they can bring your soul at peace in an instant. Waves are something that tickle the fancy of each of the five senses giving the ultimate experience of euphoria. Let waves take you to a place of bliss and never look back.

Those 7 Days.

Day 1

Fatigue had began to creep upon the entire cab full of people. But as soon as that familiar,  salty air made its way through the worn-out vents of the old Ford truck, the fatigue was quickly replaced with exhilarated anticipation. Not one of them wasted a minute, barely settled in, they sprinted for the white sand. As the sun was chased away by the moon tiny white crabs came out to play. Finally, the group was forced to head back to their tiny vacation shack. The sting of summer had got the best of all of them, some more than others, but nevertheless they couldn’t wait to get back out into the salt-saturated water.

Day 2

 

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee woke only a few. The coffee gave the energy they needed to head down to the untouched sand, where they could retrieve the seashells spat out from the sea the night before. They started the rest of their blissful filled days in that manner, no matter how much the alcohol, from the night before, teased. They would only come in from the beach to refill and replenish their bodies, but with a quick snack and a drink or two shoved in their roll-around cooler they were soon rushing back. Boogie boarding and laying out were about the only thing they did aside from breathing. None of them had a care in the world, stress and worry were masked by the salt in the air. With island inspired drinks in their sand dusted hands, they watched as the Crimson sun sank into the Atlantic, giving way to the iridescent moon. Again the rambunctious  white crabs came out to play for the second  night, and allowed themselves to be cradled in their hands and lit up by the one dollar head lamps they bought on the way down.

Day 3

 

They woke surprisingly early again; for how much rum they consumed they all figured the alarms wouldn’t be enough to wake them from  the anticipated stupor. There must had been something in that coffee that wouldn’t let their internal clocks rest, something filled with the island spirit. This day, they allowed themselves to explore the tiny island, after picking their seashells of course. They browsed the tourist infested shops, ate at some of the, “the best seafood restaurants this side of the Mississippi,”, and they even took a small ferry to another island in the archipelago to watch wild horses run free.

They had never seen anything like it before. There was an immeasurable amount raw power inside those beautiful creatures. This sight, along with many others on this trip, was something that could not be captured through a mere camera lens, it was only supposed to be taken in, in all of its glory with the gift of sight, sound, and feeling. When they arrived back at their vacationing island, they strolled along the salt-eaten wood of the peer to catch all of the nautical creatures they could; only what their small water poles would allow them to. As every other night, it was ended with laughing, drinking, gazing into the horizon as the sun faded, and the temporary capture of the tiny crabs.

Day 4 

 

They knew with the heat lightening that was off in the distance the night before, that teased their plans for the next day, they were bound to have some type of unexpected weather. They were still able to start their day off the way that they had before. Rushed, they collected every seashell they could before the rain and lightening chased them back to the shelter the little shack had to offer. It was amazing to watch as the ocean transformed from a gentle wake to a powerful tidal wave of fury.

She felt as if it mimicked her actions by holding everything in and then all at once it released what was inside. Back at the tiny house, they did not use the complimentary free wifi, but instead they just enjoyed one another’s company. They reminisced and laughed about old times and even got a few card games in as the day faded to night. As the dark of night began to take over, the rain and lightening had decided it was time to reside for awhile and let the ocean go back to peace. They of course ran out to see what damage had been made and to hopefully get to enjoy their little crab friends. With the last glimpse of light, they were able to find just what could and could not handle the oceans rage. So many different oceanic creatures were thrown to the sand, making it look as if there were litter strewn about. This did not deter the crabs though. It merely made an obstacle course for them. They went over, under, around and even through the fallen soldiers from the oceans battle, as if nothing had even happened. They all resided back to the shack for some more drinks and oceanic dreams.

Day 5

 

That morning they were able to see in full light the ocean’s powerful capability. There were the usual seashells plus many more, jellyfish that were unable to withstand the powerful tide, driftwood washed from other shores, but what caught their eyes were sand dollars that littered the water’s edge. The closer they became the more they realized that these little creatures were in fact still alive. They quickly began to gently collect them only to release them softly back into the waves. Hoping that the little creatures would make it, they moved as fast as they possibly could, given the fact of the stupor they were all in. Finally they finished and began their accustomed rituals of the day. They had all went in on a surfboard rental that day in hopes they would be able to learn on their own. They watched a few videos, as everyone always did when they learned something new, and felt as if they were ready. Much to their dismay they of course were not. After hours of trying and failing a few began to actually get the hang of it.

High tide was on the verge and she was the only one who decided to really test her new-found skill. One particular wave she found out along the horizon called to her. She paddled out and waited for the precise moment to drop in. When her instincts told her to go she let the board do the work and dropped in as if it were nothing. This particular wave had actually turned into a perfectly sculpted tube for her to glide through. It was almost as if she were in a dream when she was inside. She let her finger tip glide along the water, creating a tiny ripple in the powerful wave. She never wanted to reach the end, for fear she would never feel like that again. When she glided out the other side she was instantly addicted and knew she just had experience that rush again. The surfing went on for a little while longer,  until the sun told them to go onto the shore and wait until he came back high in the sky the following day. They watched as he clocked out and the moon took her shift inviting the crabs out for the fifth night of hide and seek. 

 Day 6

 

They began to feel the effects of what little sleep and alcohol could do to a body, so most were unable to wake up as they did every other morning before. The mother and oldest daughter were the only ones who were able to push their bodies past the alcohol induced slumber to enjoy the simplicity of gathering seashells. They talked and drank their coffee as the walked along the damp sand, stopping every few feet to retrieve a new shell. They were joined by the others long after they were laying in the sun’s rays. The boogie and surfboarding seemed to be the only thing they knew how to do in the salty water besides swim. They tore themselves away from the waves to explore the sandy town again, only because they knew it was their last full day in paradise. They all purchased more trinkets in hopes they would forever be able to remember these seven days they were down here. They explored a little more of the island life, before heading back to catch just a few more swells. As they watched the sun fade for the last time on this beach they all couldn’t help but feel a ping of bittersweet sadness. They played with the little white crabs just a moment longer that night and said their, “till next times,”as they slowly made it back to their house. This night though they decided to party with the locals to truly capture the island’s culture. 

Day 7 

 

The next morning was the worst struggle for them all to roll out of the softly fluffed beds. Although the fatigue they felt was enough to make them roll back over, they pushed to see the sunrise one last time. Their checkout time was only in a few hours, dampering any thoughts of enjoying the island for a little longer. They made it down to the dew kissed sand, right before the sun’s light swept across. They picked just a few more seashells to add to their collection. Even though they had to leave, all of them knew a piece of themselves would forever reside here in this archipelago. They all wanted to drop everything back home to reside where they were now. Even the few that wanted to forever live in the small town they all grew up in, had a change of heart with the ocean as their breaking point. Not one of them knew when they would be able to come back, they just knew the feeling had to become a priority. Hopefully the day would come that they all would call this way of life their own.

Her Light

The alarm called to her, letting her know it was time to awake. She could feel the effects of the many island drinks she consumed from the night before. Quietly she rolled off her side of the bed, letting her feet plant on the floor, making sure her balance still was not affected by the rum. Glancing over at the man she loves, she smiled endearingly at the peacefulness of his sleep. She slowly let herself rise from the bed, stretching as she stood straight. Tip toeing through the room, careful not to wake him, she made her way through to the kitchen and then out the door.

The alcohol still teased her balance, but she hadn’t a care anyway, she wanted to sit on the cool white sand to watch the sun chase the moon away. She embraced the cool salty morning air as she walked along the quiet streets. The few houses that were around her had not yet come to life. She made her way over the dew kissed sand dunes to the beach down below. She sat and pushed her tanned feet into the sand waiting for the sun’s arrival. Finally it began to peak over the eastern horizon. The light began to sweep over the blue ocean causing the waves to glimmer. The sun let its light just reach her before coming up into full glory. Seashells, that washed up during the night, were now visible giving her the child-like urge to  collect them, luckily she brought a pail in anticipation of this moment. She walked just along the waters edge, watching the wet sand push out from the edges of her feet, picking up every ocean created shell that came into her path.

Not to her knowing, the man that held her heart  was now sitting atop the dune watching her revel in that moment. He had seen many sides of this young woman and this side was his favorite. He noticed when they had arrived just a few days ago something had awoke in her. She had only been to the ocean one time long ago, but she talked about it with him like she lived there her whole life. She had always told him, that it hurt her not being able to be there. He had watched her go through many trials and tribulations for the duration of their relationship, but this past year was the hardest times he had watched her endure. He could never believe how well she handled all of the turmoil. He was always amazed that she was able to function normally let alone have the wonderful outlook on life that she possessed. He was truly amazed by her strength and her vitality, but more amazed by her happiness and determination for a better life. The girl he can see before him now, was someone he was thrilled to see. She let her free spirit shine through and he knew that the ocean brought it out in her. Her simplistic enjoyment was enough to make him smile from ear to ear. He loved see her this way; seeing her in all of her beauty inside and out.

She had the strange unction that someone was there with her on the quiet beach. She began to look around only to meet eyes with him. He knew he had been caught, so he made his way over to her. She met him half way and they sat down on the sand with her already pulling all of her treasures from the pail. She displayed all of her findings in front of him and began rambling. He loved to watch her light up the way she was now. He let her finish her presentation before pulling her in close to him. They sat there together watching the waves rhythmically come in and out meeting with the shore. This lemony-orange sunrise was the most beautiful either of them had enjoyed.

The Souvenir

He finally was able to pull her away from the ocean she loved, so they could explore the sandy town they were currently vacationing in.  She threw on the only nice outfit she brought with her and was able to put on a little eye catching make up, despite the fact that he always told her she looked good without trying.

They strolled along the salt eaten sidewalk  with the noticeable sting of summer on their checks. Just as always, they laughed and enjoyed their time together, soaking up the simplicity of their visit. Finally they made their way to the little town they passed on the way in. A warped wooden sign, decorated with a shiny, plastic swordfish, a few coral colored star fish, and some old trusty netting in the upper corner, hung proudly above the door. They walked in with their fingers intertwined in another, only to find wall to wall nautical riches. With widened eyes they explored every little trinket and dried sea creature, making sure they didn’t miss even a grain of sand.

She knew she had to discover the perfect treasure to always act as a symbol of this wonderful trip they took together, and he knew she wouldn’t stop until she found it. She stumbled upon starfish of all shapes and sizes, nautical stuffed animals, surf and boogie boards, and even the cutest ankle brackets she had to have that were embellished with beads and shells. Like every tourist infested shop it was filled with the usual tacky t-shirt you knew you would never wear, the bumper sticker with a witty saying, and even the real shark teeth that would cut you to the touch, but she still couldn’t find exactly what she had been searching for. She was happy with the dozen one dollar ankle bracelets she obtained, but she just couldn’t come across the keepsake she knew she needed. He sensed her discouragement, he was always good at that, so he led her to an area of the store that had been less examined by the years and years of out of town eyes. There in the dusty corner of the store lied a small hand woven wicker basket full of the tiniest, cutest little glass bottles that were filled with all kinds of oceanic treasures. They were accompanied with a small cork, holding all of its riches inside and a sterling silver, diamond-cut chain.

She prodded through everyone of them, making sure she found the most perfect one.  The very last one she got her hands on was filled with snow-white sand from the shore, a tiny aqua blue starfish, and  even tinier sea shells. The  trinkets inside this glass chamber that caught her eye the most though, were the small rose colored pearl,a minuscule dried sand-dollar, and what she thought was the smallest anchor she had ever seen. She knew this was what she had been searching for. With great pride she pranced to the well used counter to purchase her treasures. He knew by the smile stretched across her cheeks that she was content with her findings. When the total came he laid down a wad of sand dusted dollars and made that smile on her face stretch just a bit further. They chatted on the way back taking in the scenery and the whole way she clung to that souvenir,that was wrapped around her neck, in hopes that she could stop time and forever stay in that perfect moment.

The Sky Painter.

I have the most wonderful career in all the world, a Sky Painter. More importantly, I have fulfilled my mother’s dream.

          I let my fingers slip under the special-made, woven fabric flap that held in my tool. The beautiful handcrafted paintbrush slid into my hand, perfectly fitting in my grasp. I noticed that my initials are engrained in the richly stained wood. With the very tip of my finger, running along the top, I felt the soft, yet sturdy bristles bend and quickly snap back into place. I was only told to create a masterpiece that would take their breath away. I searched below me, through the recently fluffed clouds, to see my mother, alongside my siblings, my loving boyfriend and other friends and family, crying over my loss.

         Before ascending to the sky, I was allowed to stay with them for a moment longer. I stood among them but not with them. I was an invisible bystander placing my hand on my loved ones shoulders, quietly whispering in their ears, that I was in a much better place now. Before God beckoned to me, I placed myself in front of my grieving mother to gaze into her reddened hazel eyes. I wrapped myself around her and I could feel her give into me, knowing I was there. Pulling away from her I watched as her eyes shot up from the decorated casket, searching for me. I wiped a single tear from her flushed cheeks, holding her face one last time before letting the beam of light pull me away.

        God knew that even though I was taken from Earth to be with him, I was not done dreaming. He had said he kept this job special for me. With a broad smile he asked for me to hand him back the paintbrush. Gingerly, I handed it back to him, not wanting to let go of my new treasure. He ran his callused fingers softly down the handle making it glow. Just below my initials were freshly burnt words that read, “The Sky Painter.” I proudly accepted my new tool back, figuratively signing the career contract God had laid before me.  With my eyebrow raised and confusion showing in my expressions he told me, “let your vivid imagination, I have given to you be the paint and let the brush do the work.”  I let a smile come across my face, giving him the inclination that I knew exactly what he had meant.

        Sitting upon a small cloud I waited for the right moment to catch the attention of all that survived me down below. With a wisp through my hair I turned to see God motion me forward, instructing me to begin. Kicking my feet as the cloud moved with the breeze, I touched my tool to the sky in front of me, making it dance beneath my bristles. The clouds puffed and swirled around me, tickling my face.  I knew I had to let my mother know I have assumed the position she had always talked about. I sculpted clouds that jet puffed across the sky, I let little holes pop up here and there to allow beams of light from the sun warm my mother’s face, and I let all the colors from my imagination stream into my paintbrush. I placed the sun above the horizon, allowing it to change the blue skies to crimson, peach, magenta, and violet hues, perfectly blending into one another.

My body laid to rest on the crest of a hill that over looked the salt kissed eastern coast, so I let the sun meet the waves as if they were fused together. I made the direct sunlight call to my mother bringing her to the beach to view my artwork.  With a few more tweaks and broad brush strokes I was finished with my mother’s painting. With a quick flight I was by her side sitting in the sand with my head on her slumped shoulder. She brought her hand to my face knowing  I was there and knowing that I had created this sunset with her in mind. I stayed with her until God called for me. With my lips pressed to her forehead, I held on for one more second as she brought her hand up reaching for me.  My wings began to take flight and I squeezed her weakened hand one last time. The sand sprinkled from my toes as I made my way to the clouds. I took my place by God to admire my work, sitting right next to him. We let our feet dangle over the edge of the cloud, blissfully enjoying the sight as midnight began to take over my masterpiece.