She was no stranger to the area, but Secret Beach had never revealed itself to her. Today, an impulse, perhaps it was her solitary state of mind, led her down the narrow, grassy path, the path she normally walked by, her eyes only ever glancing briefly at the men fishing from the rocks jutting out into the water before moving ahead. Today she followed the trail to the end, much in the same way a dog is pulled forward by a scent. It brought her to a secluded beach, and to a place far, far beyond.
An older gentleman told her the name of the beach with a warm smile,a smile full of happy memories. The way he said the name “Secret Beach” made it sound like each pebble on the beach was filled with joy. He had spent many moments here as a child. Today he had returned with his grandson.
She took in the view using all her senses. An empty, baby blue bottle of laundry detergent laid stranded on the sand, but the lapping waves of the tide let it rest where it had paused on its journey. Who knows how far it had traveled? Or how far it will have to go with the next, higher tide? The jagged granite rocks, chiseled to perfection by mother nature, firmly held a woman’s lost, bead-adorned leather flip flop between two of its sharp teeth.
Alone, she sat down on a large rock warm from the sun and smoothed by decades of wind and water, but the smell of the ocean was strong, and distracted her from her book. She was drawn closer to the water’s edge, where what looked like the beginning of a labyrinth or maybe a cave pulled her in further, her curiosity and keen eye for details governing the pace and direction of her impromptu excursion.
Before long, she found a quiet little tide pool, its water replenished with fresh ocean water every fourth wave, delivered with a regularity no less dependable than a Swiss watch. In an hour or less, it would be submerged, only to reappear with the next tidal cycle. Further into the rock-landscape, a straight-edged cleft that split the ledge in two, the sides cut as if with a diamond blade, like someone had sliced a piece straight through the middle of an entire birthday cake instead of taking a polite and customary triangular slice. Makes one ponder where the description “pie shaped” originated since a pie, in fact, is round.
Climbing her way to the top of the ledge, suddenly, the picture of a black skull and cross bones stared her in the face. The unexpected discovery of a secret hiding spot for a plastic, watertight tub full of crayons. A smile spread from her heart and filled her entire body, wondering if it was hidden, like a treasure chest, or stranded, thrown up well above the high tide line by an angry ocean.
Enticed by a young man and his dog swimming, she let the waves lick at her feet, soon reaching a point of no return. The warm ocean enveloped her sun-kissed body as she surrendered to the waves, allowing them to hold her up, rocking her gently back and forth in the swell. Moved by the beauty of the moment, carried by the ocean, her body and mind weightless.