There You Are
Check the time again, check the wifi-signal. The wind is whipping around quietly, and my skin prickles just slightly. It’s still light out, and I think I’m allowed to be here alone, for now. No one is around.
I planned here coming to listen to a story. I’ve learned that when I listen to stories and walk, the plotlines begin to manifest into the place surrounding me. Coming to the mouth of Indian Wells, I’m reminded of the day of walking, running and laughing through the waves with a war-torn soldier readjusting to civilian life, a story I listened to the week before. I smile. That’s the story that the east of the beach tells, the west side is my destination tonight.
I set out, assuming that I’ll have no trouble finding something to listen to, but my normal channels are failing me, until I find something unique, and only and hour and twenty minutes long!
I’m excited, I put in my ear-buds and start at a quick pace through the cold sand. Step, step, step, and with each movement, I see hundreds of grains of sand falling away and filling in, making the layout of the beach as a whole something new.
As the only person visibly on or near the beach, the subtle power and artistry of this fact surprises me. I am the only one has, or ever will see this formation of sand. I am the only one who will have this specific vision of the world, and looking up at the ocean brings a whole new dimension to the thought.
The sand, I step in. I control. But the ocean is constantly changing, patterns of foam amongst greens, blues, and browns. Different creatures inside the ocean manipulating that image, but also the natural movement of the waves constantly making a picture that no one will ever see. But I get to see this, here, now.
I have been to the beach hundreds of times, living only a fifteen-minute walk from the very sand that I’m standing on. But knowing that I’m getting a perspective, in this moment, that no one will ever exactly have again keeps me mesmerized with shores that I grew up with.
“It’s been awhile…hasn’t it?” The question rings in my ears and shocks my body, momentarily terrifying me before I recall the reason I was walking in the first place. To hear a story, and to etch a new plotline into the waves, and the wind, and the sky. But I have not paid any attention to the voice in my ears this far. Yet, I know that this experience of falling in love with these subtle changes in my surroundings will not be a time I want to overwrite.
So, I pause, and keep walking. Then I think better. Go back to my phone, and disconnect not only from the story, but from the entire internet-world. Truly alone, I continue, I step, and I feel my perspective shift forward. With each movement, I’m brought to a slightly different view of the world, and it keeps taking my breath away. I immediately have the urge to pull the people I love out of thin air and show them the world through my eyes, changing, and constantly moving forward.
I blink. I stop walking for another moment, only to look up at the sky and notice that the early dusk light from earlier pales in comparison with the intricate pinks, blues, and purples that now dot the horizon. In the light of this sunset, my love for the world reaches an all-time high. I see the colors, and every part of me understands how special it is to be in this moment, or any moment at all. I look up at the sky, and I feel like I can see everyone in my life that I’ve loved, an intricate combination of people and events as specific to me as this sky that only I can see.
And I say so. I look at the sky, and I tell it,
“There you are! In the sky, and the trees, and the sand, and the ocean. In the air that I breathe, and the pumping of my heart. There you are. And colors that I didn’t know existed before, I can see in your eyes, reflected back in the sky above. There you are. You’re not gone, you’re all just hues in the clouds, instead of people to hold. There you are, I can see you all around me. You are me. God, you’re beautiful.”