Dark voluminous clouds build in every which direction.
Wind swirls through my long and loosly braided curls.
A flag of warning flies over head to proceede with caution and the roar of waves crashing on the well beaten shore can be heard from miles around.
These are the signs of a stormy day like today, along with so many others I’ve seen before. But not just anywhere…..everywhere is different, but here, here is nearly always the same.
Standing at the edge of the beach, where the commonly traveled walkway ends and the tumultous wake of the Atlantic begins, I watch as the storm passes overhead- waiting to break loose at any moment. It seems as though we are the only ones who’ve ignored the warning. To anyone else, it would seem a disaster in the making. A few tourist scramble back to their cars at the sight of the misshappen shoreline – (more than likely dissappointed that their newly purchased beach chairs and umbrella won’t have a chance to be put to first use), leaving my father and I standing as the only two people left in sight.
The weathered sign reads, “No guard on duty”, but the words don’t bother to try and phase me. And I suppose if you’ve made it thus far in the first place, on duty or not, you wouldn’t be concerned of a life guard anyhow.
My father makes the first venture outward towards the abandoned tower as the sky begins to crumble overhead. Just as a child exploring a fort, he takes on the role of the missing guard; and though I didn’t mention it, and should anyone have been watching at the time, I’m sure he could have been mistaken as such. 😉
By the time he returns back to where I stand, a first drop of rain splatters against my arm. And not long after, a gust of wind pushes its way past, as if I were standing directly in its way.
By the slight chill stirring in the air, I can tell we haven’t much longer to play by the growing sea, but I know its long enough for my chance to explore.
I time the seconds between the waves. They’ve risen enough to submurge the legs at the base of the stairs. After three rounds of counting, I anxiously dash outward to climb up the steps, racing to beat the next incoming flood of water. I grab the railing, freshly slicken with salt water spray and can immidiatly see why he felt the need for the amateur-like notion.
Leaning over the side of the rail, I can’t help but gaze out into the incoming storm. My mind wanders at all the possible rescues that could have taken place over the many years on days such as this, and the stories from which fishermen have told of being out and conquering it as if just another day.
My fascination of these topics is probably one that no one can compete with and I’m fortunate to have just enough time to get a taste of it.
In just a short minute, the wind has picked up even more, sending sand sailing across my new found fortress. And though I’d much rather stay and pretend, I stumble back down the stairs- forgetting about the ferocious incoming waves but still managing to escape them just in time.
I reach the walk way where the fence poles begin, each one strung together by yards of rope. Glancing back into the stormy sea, I look for any sign of its passing. The sky was now darker and the clouds whirled by in a rugged fashion, so I bid a goodbye and turned around to leave it to its being.
Not giving so much as a second thought, and my father already several paces ahead, I rush to make my way back to the boardwalk, only to be stopped by something I thought was left astray:
A simple miracle to brighten the day – A ray of golden sunshine danced across my way.
Looking up to make sure what I was seeing was in fact for real, and in fact it was. Peeking through the clouds it came out from under, it managed to stay just long enough for me to see, but was gone before I could blurt the word, “Look!”
I kept walking, saying nothing, amazed and somewhat confused about what I saw. I turned back once more, smiling, as it started to rain.
Somewhere could be anywhere but here we had never a reason to fear.
And not anywhere but here, we weren’t afraid to face the edge of a storm.