safe on the sand

And here's how it might go:

You'll both be walking on the beach, content to stroll along, when all of a sudden she'll run into the ocean, splashing and laughing and looking back over her shoulder, wordlessly daring you to follow. You won't be able to resist at first. She's as vibrant as the sky and you'll want to stay near her. So you'll give chase, catching her in the shallow waves which you'll break together, your bodies pressed close. She'll shiver in the cold and look into your eyes, asking, inviting, challenging. Your arms wrapped tight around her will satisfy you both, for a moment. Let's stay here. It's deep enough.

But then she'll want to go in further, and she'll pull away from you to wade out into the surf. Her movements will slow as her limbs fight the dregs of tides that have come from far, far away - that have always been there, really. Her stomach, her chest, her shoulders will sink out of sight, and you'll feel a twinge of fear as you watch. Be careful. Keep your footing. 

And the currents twisting around her legs will threaten to sweep her away. She'll feel them and she'll want to give in, because the helplessness is intoxicating, and it promises something beautiful, if she can just hold her breath long enough until there's more air to be had. 

You'll want to follow, you'll be sorely tempted, but you won't. You know better. You know there are things lurking beneath the surface that can sting, can cut, can kill. You know that people drown every day, and you won't take the risk. The beach is good enough for you. 

Meanwhile, she'll be deep, deep out in the water. She'll wave to you, beckoning with her arm stretched up as high as she can reach - but you'll just wave back. I see you. I'm not coming in. 

And she'll be disappointed, and momentarily afraid, but she'll keep an eye on the coastline and always know the way back.

And her arms and legs will grow strong from swimming alone, with nothing to hold onto. 

And her lungs will pump and her heart will pound, and she'll feel as alive as she can feel, here on this earth. 

And you'll grow smaller and smaller in her eyes until she can barely make you out where you stand, safe on the sand.

Hipsta: Buckhorst H1 lens, Ina's 1982 film. Location: Malibu, CA.