A short story.
As I walked along the seafront, I occasionally stopped and checked to see if it was a good place to dip my feet into the ocean, but the waves were so rough and intimidating that I kept on walking. After two miles I arrived at the foot of the cliffs. I watched as a family played in the sea, the children screaming with a mixture of delight and fear every time a wave crashed and crept closer to them.
A German language teacher ‘Marion’ approached, both of us letting the sun kiss and warm our faces. I told her I wanted to put my feet in the autumn-chilled sea and she laughed and said ‘i’ve gotta see this’. I found a safe place for my shoes and did the painful stone dance towards the whitecaps. As the first wave hit my feet, I was shocked by the cold but loved the instant refreshing sensation.
Our conversations lead us to nearly every topic possible before we dared to walk and climb beyond the high rockery. She showed me ‘Holy Well’ which I had no idea even existed. People had been coming to collect water from this well for centuries, but with the wild storm from the night before, the well had filled with stones.
We stood enjoying the sun on a beautiful stretch of secluded beach, where the water was bleached white from the chalk cliffs. Then all of sudden, a loud cracking crunch broke the peace. As we turned to look, we saw a large boulder break away from the cliff, pounding the ground with such might. Giggling, we thought it was time to make our way back to the safe man made path.
We continued to walk back and discuss wide-ranging topics from the ways of the world to the human condition, often greeting passing dogs as they pounced towards us, hoping for affection. One dog owner stopped to talk, and began to tell us of her sad past. She puzzled over her reason for talking so openly to us, but then continued to say that after some tough decisions she had finally found happiness. We smiled as she moved on.
Eventually, we found ourselves on the pier, enjoying the last rays of the sun before it would disappear behind the downs and we would part ways.