A Prayer In The Afternoon

The tide rests low, cutting across the shoulder of the most distant boulder as the sun pulses high noon and sends butterscotch pearls floating to earth. As these pearls drift into our hero’s eyes, the grainy blonde sand surrounds his every step. A privileged summer scene surrounds him with beach goers in lounge chairs holding colorful cocktails and cheerful children cooling off in the salty sound.

This traditional walk allows for the pondering of thoughts and questions. What should I do with my life? Who do I want to be? These two had crashed around his psyche for six months with little progress made. Possibly due to a lack of insightful experience or maybe just the abundance of sleep and food. So often have these two questions visited his mind that they impose a consistent state of mind. As he walks, he contemplates them and hopes for a moment of inspiration.

Today, feeling extra anxious, he jogs from the American flag to the creek in a rare moment of physical exertion. Many visitors are at the creek – where warm fresh water trickles down. Two proud white swans paddle their sturdy feet just past the sound’s edge; a hoard of geese cackle at an invisible and dubious target; and a few of the gulls look to have smeared red lipstick onto their elongated beak.

A mysterious urge captures our hero as he takes in the surroundings. He leans over to grab a stick and starts to write in the sand as if it were a canvas. He looks down to read his ramblings, already forgotten:

Show me the way…
Give me the strength to discover
And I will show you love.

Almost in a trance, he kneels down, touches his nose to the beach and gives a light kiss. The grains stick to his lips and he kisses the ground again. After the last kiss he wiggles his nose trying to add the appropriate punctuation.

The next day the tide climbs all the way up to the stairs.