A Phrase in the Waves

The waves batter the shore as the gulls squawk, floating on the gentle breeze of a coming evening. Shells litter the sand crunchy into pieces with his every step. The cold blue water lapses at his feet as if to beckon him to venture further out like a siren’s song, his socks and shoes lay forsaken on the old wooden boardwalk. His feet sink into the soft sand as he looks behind him to see previous footprints be taken by the waves. For every one shell that spots his eye among the thousands littering the beach, the tide brings two more in. Just as every time he tries to forget certain memories of her they only wedge themselves deeper into his heart while some have been let go. Then there’s another, one he yes yet to find the courage to ask. The floodgates of his heart begin to open as those wedged memories rise to the surface into his mind. With those memories comes a phrase, a phrase that has appeared many times in his life. He bends down to write in the sand starting with the first word in that phrase, ‘Live.” The water approaches eager to erase his work, but stops short. The memories swirl in his mind as the sun begins to set slowly setting the water alight with colors of yellow, orange, and red. Below the first word he writes another, “Laugh.” Again the water eagerly approaches and again misses its mark. Breathing heavily he tries his luck and writes the final word, “Love.” The water strains to do what it did to his footprints to those three words. And edge of blue hits the first word, he starts to sigh but, as if response to his sigh the water retreats once more leaving his work intact. Three simple words, a phase that holds so much attached to it. He can almost see the memories play out before him as if on a silver screen. No longer wedged within him but, like dolphins in the sea they tease him. A crash of a strong wave snaps him back to reality. The water rushes headlong at the words covering the first, “Live” The memories begin their descent back into his heart. The second word, “Laugh.” is taken. He begins to turn away. Out of the corner of his eye to disbelief the water retreats, leaving ‘Love” untouched. A single tear escapes his eye to fall into an ocean that has felt the drop of many. Even against relentless waves, “Love” refuses to yield. He hears the others from his group calling his name, the time has come to leave.  He slowly starts walking back to join them but, takes one last look to see, “Love” finally be taken by the waves as the sun sinks below the waves. For him though “Love” has been washed away many times he knows that even though waves may be relentless and strong he will always find reasons to “Live”, things to “Laugh” at, and above all if he is blessed enough one to “Love.” forever.


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