Submitted Date 03/11/2019

It’s the tide that fascinates her, and it’s her very awe that enraptures him; the way her hands stand between the water and where it meets the sand, the way the foam makes love to the grains in the split second of connection before it is sucked back out. His hair hangs in thick ropes down his back, twining loosely together like half-clasped fingers or unfinished sentences.
She both crouches and kneels beside him, one knee buried in the damp shell dipped sand, heedless of the salty water seeping through the vibrant pink fabric of her pajamas. Where his hair is long and dreadlocked like seaweed hers is short and springy, growing as if it would sink itself in clouds like burrs if it could.
The water is clear but appears as a mottled green, like sea glass stained by the water, like something pristine that has been tinged imperfect. But it is flawless to this child, just as she is flawless to her father.
His beard falls down his chest, not deep enough to reach his heart the way his daughter has, smiling at the water she is just as he smiles at her. It is something beautiful, isn’t it? To see in children what we, as adults, have lost: this innate ability to feel the air in our lungs to touch the sand and have the water caress us and the sunlight cut through the bright blue sky on sun kissed skin and just feel grateful to be alive.
That’s what he feels, grateful. In this moment where flip-flops bite uncomfortably between gritty toes, damp water blotting the hem of his khaki pants, daughter at his feet meeting joy for the thousandth time as he joins her with dark brown hands half submerged. Who wouldn’t be grateful to exist in such a moment?


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