I stood firmly on the cooling, white sand,
Feet shoulder-length apart,
Feeling the weight of my camera underneath my bare hands,
The warm breeze softly enveloping me in its gentle caress
As the sun, barely visible now over the distant horizon,
Played with the clouds and helped them taint the sky with mild hues of yellow and gray.

The familiar smell of sun-tan lotion emanated from my skin
Mixing in with the unique fragrances of a midsummer evening’s dream.
Seagulls wove in and out of my line of vision,
Floating up above as if threatening to strike,
Trying to instill a fear in me that would never exist
For I was much too accustomed already to this sight.

The events of the day hung lazily in the air,
Slowly becoming part of the memories I would never share
With people I would never meet.
Cheerful words, piercing looks, joyful laughter,
Maybe even some tears from a mischievous child…
All lingered for a few eternal seconds
Before finally being replaced by a peaceful silence
Aided by the roaring waves.

The sweet music of wind chimes echoed in my ears.
I closed my eyes and tried to remember the last time I had felt so relaxed, so calm,
After living through such a tumultuous and depressive year.
All the love and hatred I had for the world suddenly flooded into my being,
Setting their differences aside,
Becoming one with the other,
Achieving a great deal of harmony,
Helping me reach an ideal state of happiness.

Time had slowed to a stop.
I was breathing and alive and well,
And I had survived one of the hardest periods of my young life…
When everything seems right in the world,
All one can do is thank the man upstairs.

I lifted my camera to my re-opened eyes and,
Observing my present life yet again through my lens,
I pushed down the button and captured that instant forever.

Darkness proceeded to cover the Earth with its long, flowing cape,
And with the fresh, inviting thought of the wonderfully hot towel that was waiting for me
In the apartment after my shower,
I took one last glance at my surroundings, shed the worst of my past,
Smiled, and walked away.

Written on March 3, 2005 / Creative Writing Class

Photo: Belén Alemán / Isla Verde, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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