First Memory: Atlantic City, 1957

I am standing on the beach and curling my toes into the warm, grainy sand, trying to breathe it all in.  My grandparents stand on each side of me like sturdy bookends; each hold a hand tightly.  They know I want to break free and run toward the water. 

I gaze out onto the blue-meets-blue horizon and catch a glimpse of a gull floating high above me.  I think to myself, “I wish I could be that gull and never leave here.”  I think I have never seen something so magical, a feast for eyes and soul. It is strange how the ocean pulls on my heart like a strong magnet. I feel like I have always known this watery world so full of life, the known and the unknown. I lick my salty lips and tug at my grandparents, leaning forward and leaving small footprints in the sand stained a coffee-color from the frothy waves that lick at the shoreline.

The lacy-fingered waves roll in and out, in and out, a pulsating rhythm that beats like my heart.  It reminds me of life…that all life came from here.  I cry out, “It’s so beautiful…it’s so very beautiful!”  And even today as I stand on the warm, summer’s beach, curling my toes into the grainy sand, I whisper in my mind, “It’s so beautiful.  It’s so very beautiful!”  I catch my breath as the wonder of it all wraps around me like a warm blanket.



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