Sun, Sand and Serenity
I stand on tiptoe the sand under my feet warm and enveloping my toes in a soft hug.
The only sound is the roar of the waves in the distance.
It is difficult to tell where sky ends and ocean begins. Where the two meet there are little wisps of light dancing and winking. A kaleidoscope of colours bounces off the waves where the sun rays touch the water.
I remember, as a little girl, being envious of whichever creatures that live up close to those tiny orbs of light. How lucky they were! I wished I could touch those orbs, rest them in the palm of my hand and marvel at the miracles that they are.
I sit down and then stand up; I do not want to miss a thing.
The beach stretches long as far as the eye can see and beyond.
My Little Man has wandered off doing cartwheels as he went until he disappeared behind the boulders that stretch out to the water’s edge.
Princess has wandered off as well but in the opposite direction picking shells as she went.
I know she is humming to herself and I know those shells will find their way onto a mirror at home. Perhaps even a pencil holder or a basket that she will weave out of something.
I stare out into the distance both ways.
Neither of the kids is visible.
My children are enchanted with this place as I am.
I could have been the last person or the only person on this earth.
It is a humbling feeling this: to look around and see no other living creature; to see no sign of ‘civilisation’ .
Just sun, sand, sky and surf.
I feel vulnerable, exposed and overcome with emotion.
I sit down on the now wet sand watching the tide move in. As I stare out onto the waves I feel myself reborn.
The world slips away, loses importance, it’s urgencies seeming trivial and unimportant.
All the drama, the noise, the negativity, the impatience, the short tempers, the notifications, the forwards, the marketing, the haggling, the holding of grudges, it all seems so pointless.
Here I am under Allah’s sky– a tiny, insignificant dot in a huge endless universe crafted by the Most Kind Most Merciful.
I feel tears well up and feel something catch in my throat.
I don’t know how long I sit there until I shift when the heat gets unbearable.
This is something else I marvel at:
How there can be a rejuvenating, euphoria-causing breeze while the sun shines with all its glory is Allah’s Power at work.
I stand up and wonder if I can do cartwheels ala Little Man abaya and all.
It’s probably better, I decide, – and safer- drawing flowers and hearts on the sand instead. I write my children’s names, their father’s, my parents’, my siblings’ and all the things I wanted to do when I “grow” up.
There is just something about this place. I hum what I can remember of old lullabies my grandma, may Allah have mercy on her, sang to her younger grandchildren. They evoke memories and a sweet sense of nostalgia that seems befitting of somewhere like this.
I stand and wait for the water to come rushing in to tease my feet and I giggle loudly when the undertow pulls me backwards.
Princess returns from whence she had disappeared to her hijab folded over to house her shells.
From behind me Little Man yells a war cry and cartwheels towards us. I hug them close and send love and prayers for their brother a different timezone away.
As we walk up towards the steps that will take us back to civilization we turn around to look at this magical place. What a blessing to experience and re-energise by it!
Little Man says that he wants to come back here again. Princess and I nod in agreement.
Only that it is six or almost seven years later and we still haven’t set foot there despite our best intentions. So much for craving its magic!
A lot has happened since then- after all six years is a lifetime: births, deaths, house moves, emigration, job losses, chronic illnesses- a pandemic even.
Who couldn’t use a recharge of mental and physical batteries?
How often do we do it, though?
So now I leave you with two things to think about:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” Seth Godin
How well do you take care of yourself?
Go find out- go find serenity.