I wore skinny jeans -- fashionably fitted, tight from hip to ankle, and utterly impractical as beachwear. But I wouldn't let a silly thing like practicality keep me from doing what I wanted to do, so I set to work, determined to roll the cuffs of these damned jeans up as far as they would go without cutting off the blood supply to my feet.
I succeeded marginally with the cuffing venture, then removed my shoes, stuffed them unceremoniously in my purse, and trekked, barefoot and bare-calved, toward the ocean. The sand was blistering hot, but the breeze was almost chilling. The combination gave me goosebumps.
As I neared the water, I broke into the best sprint I could muster ... which was mostly just a slight lengthening of stride and an extra bounce. The wet sand was cooler and easier to walk on. I slowed my steps, sinking into the impressionable surface as I walked, looking back at my footprints. I wanted to think of something profound, an epigram of sorts, to commemorate this walk, but everything I thought of was profoundly lame and cheesy, so I gave up.
I made my way to a spot the crowds hadn't claimed, near where the waves lapped up against the legs of the pier. There I stopped and stood and gazed and let the foamy water swirl around my ankles, and then my calves. The tide was coming in. My cuffed jeans were soon wet all the way up to the knees. The careful hem-rolling hadn't done any good at all. But I didn't really care.
A wave slipped back from the shore and left the sand soaked and smooth. I picked up a feather from the dry ground behind me and stooped down to absent-mindedly draw shapes in the sand. But as soon as my primitive artwork was complete, or nearly so, another wave snuck up on me and erased it.
This gave me an idea. There was a reason I was here. I just hadn't known the 'why' until now.
In the wet sand, I began writing words -- phrases -- thoughts.
"I'm letting go of the past," I wrote. And the ocean erased it.
"I forgive you for the pain you caused me," I wrote. And another wave smoothed it over.
"Fear, doubt, hurt, bitterness, hate, anger, jealousy," I wrote. And the water washed them all away at once.
I crouched alone with soaked jeans and an improvised quill pen, spilling years of deceit and petty dramas onto the sand, watching as each negative thought was erased and a blank slate left in its place. A fresh start. Yes, that's what I came here for.