She finally caught a two-second glimpse of it before the car swirled into the rocky mountain tunnel. Counting every second, minute, and hour for this delightful day to come, Claire relished every part of the journey to the mesmerizing destination. She could feel the flare of joy with the exhilaration all palpable as the broad, beaming smile never failed to be a part of her expressions then. Along the course of the drive, she would observe how rapidly the atmosphere changed from the scene of a bustling town, with market vendors shouting at the top of their lungs and frustrated customers all competing to reach the counters, to a sudden advent of serenity. It was all encapsulated in the gradual but precipitous rocky hills that shot upwards as if its pointed apices challenged each other to touch the grey cloudy sky.
However, what was more captivating than the drive itself was the breathtaking location that Claire was going to. She was just six years old when she started to develop a sense of infatuation with beaches. Thenceforth, her life revolved around the domain of this heavenly element of nature: she wrote her first school essay surrounded by the tranquility of the beaches, loaded her cupboards and lockers with the various photographs of palm trees hanging lowly on sandy beaches, and watched stranded island movies like “Cast Away” which surely captured her attention.
Fifteen minutes had passed since she caught the first glance of the shimmering water and was waiting even more eagerly to reach the picturesque site. A sudden surge of adrenaline took over and shivers of excitement rippled down her spine when her father said, “Okay. We are here!”. At last, Mr. Smith brought the swift and joyous drive to a halt, and now she was there, standing on the gravel road with the broad, sandy beach right in front of her.
Claire would come here every second Saturday of the month but she could still not get enough of the indefinite affection she had for this seaside: maybe it was the saltiness of the breeze or the salinity of the ocean, or it was the way the sun disseminated its rays over the crisp waves of the sea or the general atmosphere of calmness that pulled her there.
Setting her foot on the golden, fine-grained, sun-drenched sand, Claire would experience an array of sentiments. Surprisingly, every emotion that she went through at that point would be extremely pleasing and satisfying. Every single step while dunking her toes into the dense wet sand would take her to another indecipherable realm with a whirlpool of soothing emotions building inside of her. She could gaze and gaze at the long stretch of the substantially golden-brown sand that gently but cautiously disappeared into the body of the ocean as if taking an unfathomable secret along with itself.
Claire believed that the ocean, like the sand, had its own identity and whilst the sand would hide a part of itself underneath the deep, endless sea, the ocean was all crystal clear in expressing its emotions. As the foamy water crashed against the sharp-edged rocks, it appeared as if this vast and furious body of water was expressing two strong but opposite feelings: joy and sorrow. Moreover, it was not to go unmentioned the sort of unique charisma the azure ocean brought to the environment as it shimmered under the rays of the blazing sun as if somebody had sprinkled a bit of glitter on it.
As Claire stationed herself opposite one of the rocky cliffs, she always felt subjugated into a hypnotic trance under the spectacular combination of eternal water and the warm watery sand. While her family would be busy building sand-castles and bathing in the ocean, she would be seated at one side of the seashore, absorbed in her world, reading her treasured historical-fiction, “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” The best part, however, was soon to come: the tranquil sunset. She could not comprehend the power of nature at that point, how that circular golden plate gradually immersed itself behind the deep ocean, how the sky changed color almost every minute from orange to yellow to light pink, and lastly how the overall atmosphere gently grew dark. She would get off the rug that she laid on the beach and cross the wet sand and always look back to check the series of footprints that seemed to follow her in her imagination.