One foot stepped down after the other onto the sand and she stood for a moment, taking in the air around her, just the way she intended. The wind danced around her and whipped and flicked her long golden hair around her face.
The sun heated her plump cheeks, her stern nose and the top of her head, the calm and quiet of her internalised moment suddenly engulfed her and she crumpled, she crumpled down into the sand. Her knees landed first, only moments before her hands. She stayed there, on all fours, her head hanging limp beneath her, her hair falling forward over her head and sitting gently in the sand. She cried softly. Her chest heaved and she could no longer hold in the sobs, “why must it be so wrong” she cried, half out loud, half a whisper.
Her cries subside….
I look up at the ocean it’s less than 200 meters from where I stand now, I stand alone among the dunes, among the scattered bright yellow flowers of the Western Coastal Wattle that once grew here in abundance. I plonk myself back on to my bum, and take the flower of the wattle in my hand, I grind its fluffiness between my fingers till it is nothing. My hair spreads down my back allowing it to root itself in to the earth, while the sand underneath me warms and spreads under my weight. I dig my delicate feet into the sand, searching for the cooler sand underneath. I try to collect my thoughts, seeking them out and sifting through them to control the paths they follow, the negative ones jumping on passing thought trains, the positive sticking to the forefront of my simple human mind. A mind as brittle as the ever dissipating Wattle.
I keep my eyes on the ocean, fearing that if I take my eyes away I might decide I was doing the wrong thing. The waves seem to call me, beaconing my being with its comforting hands readying to embrace me in a warm hug. The waves head back into the depths, it almost lures me, it all but drags me in.
I allow myself to sway, I’m a natural swayer, easy going, slight and almost flakey in my own existence.
I find myself rising onto my feet and I pat the sand off my shorts with swift sliding taps. My breathing steadies as I slowly make my way to the waters edge, I remove a brown sandal with one hand and keep the other hand to my side to balance me, I’m hopping from one foot the the other as I struggle with removing my last sandal, balance was never something I found came naturally to me here. I finally wrangle the other off and leave it where it falls.
I am striding forward again, working up my enthusiasm to be at the oceans edge, to be there. My small and shaky fingers seek out the bottom of my black T-shirt and pull it up and off over my head, the cool air hits my chest as I drop it in a neat little bunch on the sand behind me.
A passing walker watches me as he passes, he then stops and does nothing as his Australian cattle dog runs to my side and barks, I don’t look down even though this sweet furry creature begs for my attention. I don’t allow this to slow me. I stare ahead while stumbling over the dog, and almost hopping around it I recoup myself while my strides becoming more purposeful, more determined and more confident.
My focus is back and my hands search for the top of my pale denim shorts, I pop the button while clumsily stumbling over a sharp glossy rock, I barely miss a beat. My zipper falls down on its own and my thumbs slide into the band and I slide my shorts over my thighs, I carefully step out of them. I reach my hands back and fiddle with my bra, walking still, once it’s off the weight of my breasts is instant and sudden, the weight takes me by surprise. My bra and my shorts are left behind me just like that as is everything else.
I walk on and the further I walk, the more naked I feel. I am no longer under wraps and the people stare as I make my way closer and closer to the edge.
I hear them giggle, the people act as though seeing a fellow humans body is something they have never seen, something unnatural.
I am finally standing at the edge of this mass of water, I look down where the waves flow and ebb at my feet, this is a mass of water that connects thousands of places at once. Connects every body to each other in the same way we, the people are a mass that inhabit a land, these many lands are connected by this one mass. A land that we are constantly fighting for, about and against. The ocean is a place we are all part of, when we wade in its waters, in its uniqueness, we are all the same one.
The ocean, connects every country to every person.
Where there are oceans connecting us, we are never anything but the same.
I stand at the waters edge, hands by my sides wavering there and my fingers nervously flicker, unsure of where they should be? Cupping my naked breasts perhaps?
But I don’t move them. I am almost naked and surrounded by people. Yet I feel incredibly alone, because I stand here, being barely different.
I stand here begging the world to be okay, begging the people to realise that we are all connected, that we should never have to fight to survive in a place so full of heart.
Now at the waters edge, she crumpled to her knees once more, and she closed her pale blue eyes for the last time, her heart finally collapsed.
Her journey had changed her, it had beaten her down.
She gasps for air. She weeps, it swallowed her heart, and she fell in staggered moments into the ocean begging herself to make them whole again.
She suddenly is gone and the people watched on as she fell to pieces into the ocean, she fell into the ocean just as the wattle spread its pollen, her body became part of the same earth every person shared.