Written By Punam Raval
Author Bio: I'm Punam Raval, a fourth year medical student from Kenya.
The waves roll in, some as strong as the last, some gentler, swirling around my feet and into the white, soft sand. My eyes stray as far along the beach as possible, trying to take in as much as they can – kids, making sand castles, diving into the ocean waves with little care in the world, couples stealing away precious moments together under the cloudless sky, heena artists drawing delicate patterns over tanned skin. I walk forwards, deeper, until I feel the warm water soaking my bare skin, all the way up to my grazed knees. As the waves lap up against my legs, crashing into chaotic and foamy lace patterns, I see a boat, way out into the sea. I follow it with my gaze until it becomes just a tiny white speck against the brilliant blue.
I try hard to wrap my head around each hue of blue, coming together, blending, with an almost impossible complexity. The swirling white crests only serve to make the waves look even more majestic – and yet, it strikes me; so peaceful. So beautiful.
As I continue wading out into the water, I focus on how I feel. I’m alone, but not lonely. I feel a strange calmness settling in my heart – one I'm not sure I've felt before, because I have no recollection to compare it to. There’s something else – wistfulness? Nostalgia... with a tinge of sadness. The feeling is as wide and wavering as the sea before me – but as I feel the tears rising, I realize I left my slippers on the shore, and it wouldn’t do to have them washed away. I walk back, silently reassuring myself as I feel the breeze in my hair and taste the salt on my lips. If the sea can calm itself, so can I.