Spirit of the Sea | Teen Ink

Spirit of the Sea

January 20, 2012
By Xatyrn BRONZE, Morgantown, West Virginia
Xatyrn BRONZE, Morgantown, West Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
that which lies unspoken

The bottoms of her feet burned with an itchy pain as she took the first few steps onto the sun-baked sand. She hadn’t brought shoes, so she quickened her pace across the hot beach and stretched her arms out from her sides for balance as steps were replaced with ungraceful, hurried skips.

The moist sand of the shoreline was welcoming; the girl fidgeted her feet to burrow them into the sand as the coolness soothed the irritable burns. The sun had placed itself high into the sky behind her, allowing for a beautiful view of the ocean in front. Its familiar surface was unsteady and carried the sun’s reflected light. The ripples danced with the rays and were unable to shake them off their backs.

The girl sighed and settled herself down on the shore. Feelings of contentedness filler her, derived from the pleasantries of her surroundings. The sun warmed her body and relaxed her muscles, but the salty, cool breeze kept her from lethargy. She brought her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs. As the girl admired the sea quietly, she wryly embraced the nostalgia brought by her environment and her mind submerged itself in memories of moments by the sea from long ago.

Faded pictures transitioned in her mind: scenes of spotting dolphins in the distance, of large and almost frightening waves rising above her head, and clips of the ocean pulling her under many times. It’d toss her around and fill her ears, nose, and eyes with salt water before tossing her onto the shore, scraping her legs and stomach against rough sand and broken shells in the process. Though a little violent, she loved the thrill of the water dominating her. It stole her ability to control her body and played her like a puppet, and for a moment she could be a part of the sea.

Her childish but imaginative mind had always liked to believe she had some deep connection with the sea. And she accepted the idea that the sea had some sort of spirit. It was so alive, even now as a slight wave lifted itself from the surface. It seemed so easy for all that water to just pick itself up and curl itself into a perfect wave that sometimes stretched far on both its sides.

She watched as the water spoke strongly through its lifted body and imagined the pressure of the wave, almost feeling its intensity squeeze her chest – smothering her – as she concentrated solely on it for that meager moment – and at last gravity defied its will to rise and it was pulled aggressively back onto the shore. Refusing to withdraw back into its body quite yet, it traveled up the beach. It pressed toward the girl, and for a moment she lapsed back into her carefree, imaginative mindset; the ocean knew she’d returned to it, and it was pushing itself up the shore to greet her. It barely managed to kiss the tips of her toes before retreating. The touch sent a shiver through her body; despite the warmth of the sun, goose bumps rose on her skin. She accepted the touch as a whisper of forgiveness for her absence.

Some of the water had been left behind as the wave retreated, and it made a wet imprint of its final shape in the sand. There were a lot of these on the shore. All were from waves that had managed to climb farther than the rest. If a big wave came through, it would erase all the other imprints in order to leave its own. It was like a contest amongst the waves; maybe the ocean had many spirits in it, the girl thought. And perhaps they were always competing and quarrelling – no wonder the ocean was so rough and full of emotion at times. It had clashing personalities, all which unceasingly battled for dominance.

The girl raised herself off the ground. Sand stuck to her, but she didn’t bother to brush it off. She stepped into the wet imprint the wave had just left and followed it downward, just as another small wave tossed itself onto the sand. It quickly sped along up the shore to greet her and wrapped itself around her ankles. It was cool and welcoming – as the water began to pull back, she knew it was only trying to pull her in this time. And she continued to follow it, returning to her sea.

The author's comments:
I love the sea. I don't live near it, but I visit it occasionally. I used to once a year, but it's been much longer than that now, and sometimes the lack of ocean in my life really gets to me. And so I wrote this, and it's as legit as it gets to my mindset when I'm there standing in that violent - yet serene - water. While everyone around me is playing and laughing and just having a grand, care-free time, I'm stuck in an intense, idealistic, and somewhat spiritual encounter with the sea. And of course I swim and dive and do everything else everyone does there, but these feelings have a nuance that clouds in the back of my mind.

The sea enchants and intimidates me with its secretive and spontaneous personality, and I hope I have captured some of its enchantment and subtle violence in this small piece of writing. And maybe I will revive a buried longing for the sea in my audience as well.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Feb. 7 2012 at 5:24 pm
AndresVaamonde SILVER, New York, New York
9 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We are the bright new stars born of a screaming black hole, the nascent suns burst from the darkness, from the grasping void of space that folds and swallows--a darkness that would devour anyone not as strong as we. We are oddities, sideshows, talk show subjects. We capture everyone's imagination.”

absolutely wonderful

Foxy said...
on Feb. 5 2012 at 4:42 pm
Great descriptions of the sea, I almost feel like I was there

-Ash- SILVER said...
on Feb. 5 2012 at 3:40 am
-Ash- SILVER, Redmond, Washington
7 articles 4 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
She wants to die. She wants to disappear, to be remembered no more. She wants so terribly to be forgotten, all her mistakes, all her failures, everything. Her name to be wiped free from all record of existence. Because is it really existing when you’ve got nothing to show for your life?

amazing! i love this, the descriptions and just everything! 5 stars! :)