To Escape the Lurking Darkness

It’s a short minute to walk up the boardwalk, along the edge of the harbour, and out to the far end of the breakwater. In the harbour some bit of sailboat rigging is rattling against the mast with a metallic tinkle, and all the boats rock and sway gently in their rhythm. The harbour water rests calm and endlessly deep, that kind of deep that dares you to plunge in. On my left, the waves slosh in and lap at the sandy beach, nibbling at yesterday’s sandcastles and wiping out footprints as quickly as they are left. My steps take on an urgency. They’ve been this way before.

Weeds and spiders creep through the rocks on the lake side of the wall—it’s a wonder the waves don’t wash them away on the stormy days. Kids always love to climb up there but you won’t catch me going anywhere near the creepy crawling things that loiter in the dark crevices. I come out here to escape the lurking darkness.

At the end I perch on the wall and dangle my legs, swinging my toes above the water. Below my feet the water swirls over the algae covered rocks. The hairy green sways in time with the currents in a gentle dance. The wind is calmer today; it’s just the soft kiss of a breeze that makes the hot sun pleasant more than burning. A few fluffy clouds float toward me from the horizon. Out here I can breathe. Out here I can feel. Out here I can cry.

I whisper my confessions to the lake that holds my secrets. Every trauma, every sadness, every bitter regret and shame is released and set adrift. The breeze dries away my tears even as the soothing rhythmic waves calm my anxious heart.

I turn my head, interrupted by the sound of screeching seagulls and children’s laughing screams. A boy charges across the sand toward a dozen gulls at the water’s edge and sends them scolding into flight. His little sister toddles after him on chubby legs, her sodden diaper drooping low behind her. Envying their freedom, I sense my time has come to leave. I retrace my steps, feeling if not happy then at least at peace.

Published by Aly Writes

I bake. I write. What goes better together than a good story and a delicious fresh-baked pastry? Nothing. And I can give you both. Grab a hot cuppa and join me.

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