My eyes flutter open as the smell of papaya and salt water fill my nostrils. As my vision returns after the long night’s rest, I can see the dark wooden ceiling and greenish grassed lining around my own little bure, resembling a type of “hut” that is only seen in movies of tropical islands. My legs lengthen and stretch, feeling a bit sore from the adventures of the previous day. As I rise, I can feel a slight tingle on my skin from a sunburn that intoxicated my whole body. I throw on my bathing suit, mentally preparing for the next adventure that my father and I are about to embark upon. As I take a step outside the bure, cool air penetrates my skin as the sun begins to tint the sky to a brighter shade of baby blue. My dad and I begin to make our way down a stoned path, passing the other bures that are lined in one single row on the island. As we walk, I am fearful of any type of creature: mosquito, small crab, snake, or even a pokey stone that could leave a small but painful dent in my right foot. Within seconds, we approach 3 beautifully crafted wooden steps and gracefully emerge onto the opened deck filled with small tables and dark green umbrellas; an area also known as the dining room. As I look past the deck, I have a clear view of the wide ocean that hugs the shore of the island like a warm, fuzzy blanket. The light blue at the shore fades darker and darker as it reaches out past the boats and into the sky, going on forever. As the sea softly reaches over the sand, kissing it each time a wave crashes inward, curiosity overwhelms me. I suddenly find myself sprinting towards the sea, longing for just a touch of the ocean water. As I run, the sand swarms my feet, wedging in-between my toes and conforming to each footstep like a tight fitting sock. I quickly pounce into the sea, feeling the chilling sensation of wetness over my sensitive red skin. My fluttering heart slows, feeling comfort as my feet sink into the deepening sand. I look down into the tinted blue clear water to see tiny white fish, ones that are only noticed when looking twice. They float back and forth as the waves grow taller and smaller over my legs. I smile, realizing the content life that such fish have: swimming back and forth, going with the flow. Not a care in the world. As my grin begins to fade slightly, I look up to the world in front of me. My eyes gaze across the never-ending horizon, moving from right to left. The sun has finally begun to peak over the mountainside, as the colors move from a tinted blue to bright spurts of purples, pinks, reds, and yellows. The further I look up, the darker the colors get. I couldn’t be more grateful. I couldn’t be more fortunate. The world demonstrated a new type of beauty, one I had never realized before. It wasn’t the beauty that girls demonstrate, or the beauty that could be seen in picture or magazine. It was natural beauty, the world’s beauty. And in that moment, I was content because I had the world’s beauty right in front of me.
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