Bless This Beach

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Sometimes the last thing you want to do is feel joy because the first thing you want to do is make sure it doesn’t disappear.

Don’t screw it up, they whisper. And they’re not even real, physical people. They’re in your head. You’re not a schizophrenic, but just a really lost girl. A girl whose feet are treading the sand for the first time, and you’re nearing the sea…and all-new storms ahead.

You’ve been hidden up in a lighthouse, high above the sea, all your life, and now you’re at the beach you watched for years, envied others walking on, and longed to walk on with someone. You did meet someone and now he’s coming up behind you, probably the same amount of anxiety in his bones as in yours.

What if we got swept up in the water? What if a burning cigarette someone left or broken glass is hiding in the sand, just so one of us could step on it?

What if I still end up walking alone?

 

It sounds like you’re talking to yourself. You’re going mad…or maybe not. It’s all plausible. You’ve grown up by the beach almost your whole life and have never truly swum. You could dive into the ocean thoughtlessly. You’d come out with salt-dried hair, sand that never stops sticking, and pruney fingertips, and you’d have half-drowned. Maybe worse, you’d get swept into the current and fully drown. Or be eaten by whatever swims in the gray-blue.

The sea gathers up in your eyes.

Like a charming bird, your friend shuffles up next to you in the dry, soft sand. He doesn’t show his worry as much as you—you start to doubt he has any. The hope in the bird ready to take off is almost contagious in his smile, yet his dark, feathery hair is soft like his sweet, careful way of walking with you this far. Fear is obvious in you.

The two of you stand on the hill, waiting to slip through the grains until you’re buried. At least you wish for that. Anything but touching this warm sand hiding treasures and unknown harm. You’d rather hide up here. Where it’s safe…right?

Right?

Your hair’s grown longer since your arrival at the tower. Do you regret the years your father had you living there? No. You cringe at your babyish tantrums there, but you don’t regret time there, waiting to step onto any sand now. The beach grass blows around in the wind and your nose is filled with the smell of sea. You wipe your cheeks and sigh.

“Let’s go?” the raven prince says in a gentle, hopeful voice.

You’re unsure. Your eyes drift up from your own bare, pale feet in the toasty sand, to his dark, feathery hair, out of the corner of your eye. He wears his neat suit, shoes and all, treading the sand cautiously.

He’s smiling—nervous, but smiling, and at you. Then he looks at the beach, pink and orange and slowly blued by the sky’s colors. He shivers, his feathers ruffled with as much worry and excited curiosity as you.

You watch the ocean turn purple by the horizon and its shadows grey under the sun which begins to sink carefully into the water, like it’s too cold and needs temperature adjustment. Evening always brought you both fear and hope about tomorrow and this is another one of those times.

“Where do we go?” You say, turning to your other side, where a blue haze has entered your sight again. You’ve both been trying harder to keep the glowing blue silhouette of Creator in your sight. He often has to pry your eyes from all the blurry colors around and the noises inside to remind you He’s always been standing there. And He always would, right?

You still press the question to Him. “Where are we supposed to go? How do we get there without touching the ocean yet?” Though in a large, chunky braid down your back, some loose strands of your hair brush around your face and mouth when you’re talking.

Creator smiles, His white eyes shining like headlights on the sand. It glitters blue underfoot. He simply says, “Follow me.”

Temptation to stomp your feet arises. You’re so tempted to cry again. You’re so tempted to scream again. You’re so tired of never getting answers now, tired not just getting the yes or no, and tired of the waiting.

You’re also so sick of yourself and the foot-stomping baby you know you are. You’re here, on the beach you dreamed of seeing for ages, with the feathery-haired prince you grew to adore so much and hoped to walk the beach with. You have plenty to be content with, yet you cry, worry, and don’t trust your father next to you, even though there are so many good reasons this didn’t come earlier.

You are tired and fickle. “I’m sorry…I don’t trust you,” You voice honestly to your father. “I’m tired of worrying…everything feels noisy in me. Why?”

He grins, steps between you two, and takes both your hands, squeezing them.

And then you know.

You aren’t to focus on the noise inside but on getting out. You are to pause, be still, love others, and thank your father He’s led you out this far. He led you down a rocky cliff where the lighthouse sat, through the hills, and to the edge of the land. You and your bird-prince-friend know anything could happen—both happy and hard. But you’re both trying to follow your father, whether that would lead to the harbor for now, to the sea one day, or to wander alone. Because in the end, never would you really be alone.

Because there’s more beyond the tumbling sea, more beyond the colorful sky over you, and more than the sand underfoot. There’s your father who’s with you always.

You both trust He’ll walk with you as you take the first steps.

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Hey frens. Thought I’d do a little flash fic last month as part of the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash. This isn’t what I usually do on this blog, but I like to write allegories and thought I’d try my hand with this short a piece. The picture at the top of the post was my prompt given by the challenge, and I had a 1000-word limit (I met it exactly because I’m too wordy. Hehe). Hope this story just gives you a little hope if you’re facing the unknown regarding relationships. I’m a doubter, but learning faith in the midst of it. What a paradox.

But thank God for His faith where I lack.

Extra encouragement:

  • Jeremiah 31:11-14 (My memory verse from a few weeks ago. It’s water for a parched heart.)
  • Doubting Doubts” by Citizens and Saints (This song. I cannot stress how much I relate and love it.)
  • Beloved One” by Jenny and Tyler (Love the song and love the mood of the video and all, simple as it is.)
  • Peace Song” by Kye Kye (Can’t. Stop. Looping. This sooooong. Plus, read the Scripture references in the description, where the lyrics are. Nourishing stuff lyrically and so much of what I’ve had to learn.)

Have a blessed day, dearies.

~Heidi

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