From the bright blue sky above, the sun beat down, casting its rays of warmth across the Bahamian sand. I felt warmed from the inside out, while a light misting from the ocean kept me cool. The soft breeze tickled the hair surrounding my face and felt pleasantly cool against my skin. The tangy smell of salt enveloped me, but did not overwhelm me like it does for some. It was a comforting scent, a scent that evoked an almost spa-like sense of peace. As I looked out from the quiet beach, I could only see ocean for miles. It looked almost quilt-like, starting with patches of white and turquoise near the shore and ending with indigo that stretched towards the horizon, with almost every shade of blue in between.
The calm, rolling waves beckoned me and sang out with soothing crashes that masked all other sounds of the beach. I could no longer hear the shrill pitch from the lifeguard’s whistle or the screaming kids running across the beach; I could only hear the water. My feet glided over the coarse terrain and my legs burned with effort as they sank deeper into the sand, but I did not feel tired. I felt free, like the birds soaring high in the sky and the fish darting to and fro beneath the deep blue surface of the ocean.
I moved closer to the water as it tempted me with its cool waters, promising to provide relief from the blazing sun. The sand was no longer loose as I approached the edge of the water, but compact and cool. I could feel the rough outlines of shells hidden beneath the sand’s surface and the tide began to graze my toes as the waves crashed into the shore. With a jolt, I jumped away from the startlingly cold water surrounding my ankles.
Hesitantly, I took a few steps forward, moving back towards the waves and the refreshing coolness they brought. Almost immediately, I began feeling a gentle pull into the ocean as the tide pulled me closer. The sand around my feet obscured the water and at first all I could see was blurry swells of beige as I was coaxed to venture farther from the shore. However, as I kept walking, the swirling clouds of sand dissipated and I could clearly see the rocky, kelp-covered floor of the sea. All around me, tiny, almost opaque fish the size of toothpicks darted across my feet. A few began nibbling on my toes and I had to ground myself in the sand in order to not fall over from laughing at the tickling sensation.
As I stood there, breathing in the fresh air, I couldn’t help but fall into a sort of trance. Looking out over the vast expanse before me, I was able to let go of the immense stresses of the past year and think of nothing but the gratitude I felt for being on this beach. We had only reached the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort on the island of Nassau a few hours prior, but I already did not want to leave. I wanted to bask in the golden sun and swim in the glimmering ocean forever.
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