Footprints in the sand

I’m walking on the sand.
Just walking along the beach, enjoying the sound of the waves gently breaking over the white sand, with the waters clear as crystal. The sky is as blue as the sea, a cloudless sky, with the cool breeze of the sea rushing past my face and letting my hair loose.
The sand is white and pure, the beach is empty. I’m walking alone under the soft sunlight in which I can’t actually feel its heat and I can’t feel a searing blaze on my skin. It’s a gentle, relaxing warmth I could bask in all day, all year, all my life. Something I could actually enjoy.
But there’s no one around me, no one I can talk to, no one I could share this joy with. I couldn’t actually feel even happier than I wanted to. I couldn’t see where this vast stretch of sand and sea ended; I couldn’t turn back, I could only keep walking on, letting my footprints embed itself in the smooth powdery sand, lonely creating the path I’d walked for quite some time.
And time is still ticking on.
I’m just walking slowly, watching my feet sink itself into the soft sand and creating my footprints which I’ll leave behind. Nobody else can see it, nobody else can feel it, and no one will be able to tell I’ve been walking alone all my life, just walking on and on, heading towards the other end of the beach which I trust exists, and basking in the tranquil all alone.
The tide might be getting higher, because I can see and hear the water swishing near me, lapping up the sand greedily but returning what it stole from them. A natural process of erosion and deposition occurring right before me. I could see the sea’s strength even in its gentleness – it possessed a mysterious power more than I’d ever imagine or feel in my life walking on the sand, and although I can’t experience its power right now I could choose to experience it. If I decided to turn my goal of finding the other end of the beach into the sea, then I could turn towards the sea now – I could walk in it. It’s something I could try couldn’t I? No one would know. I don’t possess the power to walk on water, so if I choose to walk into the sea, I’d be able to swim in the clear waters, feeling the strength of the sea seep into me, letting me swim between the coral reefs, with the fishes. Letting me see what I couldn’t see while walking alone on the beach.
I hesitate.
It’s an option forever open to me – I can turn to the sea whenever I want to, when I want to hear the voices of the fishes instead of the silence of the land. The sea is beckoning to me, slowly beginning to swallow the footprints I left behind far, far away, encouraging me to take a swim, a swim to nowhere. I won’t be able to see the end, just like now; I only have trust that the sea will end somewhere.
I take a step towards the cool sea.
But as I debate on taking the second bold step I see a shadow covering mine. I see another set of footprints suddenly beside me, and I can feel the breath of another person present. I can feel his presence – he takes my hand and pulls my second step away from the sea, back up onto the white sandy beach, away from the deceiving covers of the surging sea.
All of a sudden two sets of footprints start to appear in the sand. I hear something more than just the lapping waves now – it’s a voice, a sign of humanity, a sign that I’m not alone. Someone is walking with me, taking my hand, leading me along the long stretch of sand. I don’t feel so hopeless now – I can trust this person leading me, walking with me, and now he’s starting to talk to me. A voice, a lovely, soothing voice, breaking the glass of silence I had tried to bear for a long time, letting me truly hear, hear the voice of humanity, of life, of love, and of hope. I feel even warmer now, but that’s a warmth I’m enjoying, a warmth that’s slowly embracing my body. I can share my joy now – I can share this form of enjoyment with this person.
I’m getting accustomed to this person. His features are becoming clear. The eyes, the face, the body is beside me, walking alongside me, still guiding me. He looks at me, looks at me for a long time, and then he smiles, a warmer and refreshing smile breaking the stillness of the air, magically making the sea breeze even cooler, but I don’t notice the sea anymore – I notice this person, who’s walking between me and the sea, bringing me away from the waves which hold a deeper secret than what I can see. His footprints occasionally get soaked up by the water as the tide grows, but he just manages to lead me away from it, away from the open sea, away from deception.
I don’t know where we’re going, but let me trust this man, let’s walk on together along the quiet empty beach, and enjoy what’s ours. Let’s remember where we’ve walked, keep them as a memory. But those won’t be leading us further. They’ll have taught us what we needed to know, but it won’t empower us. The sea might grab at them, but they won’t drown us. We’ll still be engraving our lives, those footprints in the sand.


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