One and the Same
I am silent as we walk and a smile graces my face as I listen to you talk. I have yet to say a word on our short journey, but there has never been a silence in this one sided conversation. You talk enough for the both of us and I am happy to listen to your inane chatter. Words that cover one subject and then randomly jump to another. Nothing of importance is ever covered, but neither of us is looking to go into any type of deep discussion. We wish only to enjoy the world around us and our current adventure.
I bump your shoulder with my own and flash a wider grin when you predictably launch into another haphazard line of questions and odd facts. I love the spontaneity of it and there are many times that I find myself seeking it out for the sheer joy of it. This is one of those times.
You, obviously, have no qualms about allowing it to happen. I am sure that you enjoy it just as much as I do, and so you chatter on without waiting to see if I am keeping up with your meandering flow of words.
The path that we walk is hard packed and well worn. It has seen much traffic over the years, but not by our feet. No, we have never been down this path before. It is entirely new to us, but you lead me down it as if you have walked it for years. We both know where the path leads and it is the destination that causes our differences in attitude. I follow your lead because I am lost in things like this. They have never made sense, nor do I ever expect them to. Some things are just like that. What is pure insanity to one is pure logic to another. None of us think the same and that is what makes living so much fun.
So I just listen and I follow, my arm looped through yours as we wander along. A simple life and a simple friendship; what more could one ask for?
When our path ends, I am not surprised at what we see ahead of us. I always knew what it was that we traveled towards. But the view is still new and I had not expected it to be as beautiful as it is. We had been told what we would find down this path but the description had been lacking in detail.
Before us are the ebbing and crashing waves of the sea bordered by a long stretch of pale sand; blue-steel colliding with sparkling white. The water is agitated today, stirred up by the wind from a storm somewhere far off the coast. It makes the color flash and change, a fickle thing that both draws in the eye and tickles at the feeling of danger.
You bounce in excitement at my side and positively thrum with delight. You live for this, the sound of the waves and the smell of the salt air. I have never been one to go swimming or search out the sea, I have never understood it, but I understand that you are drawn in by it. I follow you here because you do not seem complete without it. That fact alone makes me accept these forays down to the beach into the category of an enjoyable outing.
Soon the inevitable happens and you burst away from my side, skipping and twirling your way down to the edge of the water. Bright bits of foam and sunlight-catching droplets scatter in your wake as you bound through the tumbling cascades of water. Your squeals of glee echo loudly down the vacant shoreline sending a flock of startled seabirds into the air with a loud flutter of wings.
I laugh at the sight and drop down into a comfortable position on the warm sand. I do not find the same delight in participating in such antics but I cannot even think of interfering with your strange predilection for it.
I settle in for a long wait and let my mind wander. I think of the events of the previous day, of the possible events of tomorrow and I think of various other odd bits. But when my mind wanders back into the strange twisting line of thoughts that you had voiced on the way over I find myself pausing and lingering there. Your ability to bounce and weave and dance through words is suddenly a key that opens up a new understanding. You have made sense all along and I never saw it.
You love the sea because it is just like you. It is one thing one moment and then different the next. It is never the same and neither are you. You yearn for that unpredictability. It is part of your personality. And so when you first saw the sea it grabbed hold of your soul and you soon found yourself pulled along with a strange sort of breathlessness. It had intertwined with you, become a part of you. You had finally found something that made sense; that behaved just as you do. I must have been blind to not have seen it sooner.
You are one and the same, you and the sea. I may never truly understand how you connect with it, for I have never felt it, but I now understand why. And to know why is almost as good as knowing how.
You suddenly appear before me, a wild grin on your face and the smell of saltwater in your hair. You reach down and open your hand to me. I look at it for a moment before I take hold of it and allow you to pull me to my feet. I know what you are doing. I know that you are asking me to come with you and join in on your ridiculous display, but I suddenly don't mind. I may not be able to feel the same bliss as you about jumping through the waves and reveling in the spray of the sea, but I find it easy to think of myself letting go and running with wild abandon at the side of a good friend. And maybe, just maybe, that is just how you feel about the sea.
I make no claim to have a connection with the sea or the ocean, but my best friend does and I hope that maybe I was able to capture even a tiny piece of it here.
This story can now also be enjoyed as an audio reading. Just search for 'The Saturday Storytellers' over on YouTube. This story can be found there (under it's original name 'One and the Same') and you can also find many other different types of stories.