Peace: The Beach

It’s quiet.

Not silent, since I can hear the breeze making its way through the air, the faint sensation of salt tickling my nostrils, but quiet, nonetheless. The ocean laps at the shore, voicing soft greetings as it’s waves curl and shift from green to white before fading quickly into the sand. Some young children run into the water just in time for a larger wave to playfully test their resolve, sending most of them squealing back to steadier ground. The bright orange umbrellas whip softly in the wind but hold their posts like sentries protecting a town’s citizens.

I glance down at you, enveloped in your colorful pirate towel, lying down on the chair with me. I carefully lift my foot and pull the lower corner down to cover the little toes that are peeking out. I continue stroking your dirty blonde hair as you doze, making sure not to disturb the hood that keeps your lightly tanned skin sheltered from the hot sun. Your torso slowly rises and falls in rhythm with your breathing and the pressure on my chest increases slightly as your head becomes heavier with sleep. You suddenly remove your second and third fingers from your mouth and tuck your hand back down by your stomach before becoming still once again.

Your mother is lying in the chair next to us, soaking up the sun’s rays eagerly and savoring the current calm. She turns her head toward me and offers a smile, her usually bright eyes forced to squint under the sun. I accept graciously and my lips blow a soft kiss back in response. She reaches her hand across the divide between our chairs and her fingers intertwine with mine. She smiles again and returns her focus back to the cloudless blue sky and the rays warming her skin.

I lean my head back in the reclining chair and close my eyes, saving a mental picture of the moment before allowing my own tired muscles to relax and welcome the oncoming numbness of sleep.

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