by Grace O’Connor ’22
It was an image of a woman looking into the deep blue Atlantic Ocean, as the early morning sun broke through the clouds. The yellow sunlight filled her blue eyes with life. Her toes buried in the sand that had not been warmed by the sun yet. Her dirty blonde hair was being blown behind her shoulder. It was just her, no one else. She looked small, standing all alone on the quiet beach. She was still beside the swaying of the weeds in the sand dunes, and the movement of the water being pulled away from her.
She opened her eyes slowly and looked in the distance at the horizon, as if it held all of life’s answers, or at least she wished it did. The morning tide lapped against the sand as calmly as her breath and the seagulls above her head seemed to have an excitement about their destination, which made her wonder if she would ever have that enthusiasm again. Their calls reminded her of the time she spent on the beach with her children. She longed to be young again. The sweet taste of lemonade, the sound of people laughing, her not feeling lonely. The thought of it made her smile; it was a time when she had truly felt free and had her whole future ahead of her. Her eyes had held all the wonder in the world as they looked at the deep blue water, and she had laughed as the waves buried her feet in the wet sand that held seemingly hundreds of sand crabs which had tickled her feet. She would have enjoyed the opportunity to be a mother again and the time to live up to that moment of absolute happiness.
Although she missed her past greatly, she knew that life would keep moving forward and all she could do was appreciate its beauty. Watch her children grow up and be happy. Enjoy the simple things in life. She would always have her youthfulness and an unburnable light embedded inside herself. She closed her eyes again as the clouds separated to let the sun shine on the beach.