One of the most beautiful sights to watch is the sunrise. More beautiful if seen from the beach. You can almost picture the sun yawning and stretching hands when you see the first rays falling on the calm waters, far into the Sea. The golden orange hue that it creates on the water is beyond description.
I get up from the beach and start walking. Solitude is best achieved on an isolated beach. The calmness that the slow waves bring with its sound is beautiful. It instantly puts you to sleep - but not me. I have been on the beach for the last 8 hours but not even a wink of sleep. I must go on!
People start arriving on the beach as I head to the local shop. First things first - I am hungry. I walk up to the shop and get myself an egg sandwich and a black coffee. I can still see the Sun rising in its glory through the window pane. Morning coffee has a way of waking you up, even when you havent slept the entire night.
I look around at myself - about fifteen people in all. Couples are on their morning jog. I also see an elderly couple with their labrador wagging its tail, and looking at its master with satisfaction. Morning breeze and sunshine can do wonders to animals too.
There is a kid running around on the beach in her small shoes and pink little dress, dragging her teddy bear along the sand. She stops suddenly.
“Mamma” She calls out
“What is it honey” ?
“There is a spider inside the water!” she looks closely.
Her Mom laughs, “Thats not a spider dear. That is a small crab. They live in the water. Lets go home sweetheart”
She seems amused. But walks behind her mom, satisfied with her discovery. Kids have something that elders lack - they are amused at the beauty of nature, they are curious. When people grow, they tend to get involved in their life so much that they forget to look around, they lose their curiosity, they lose their innocence. I digress and walk on.
Suddenly some guys run past me, almost knocking me down. Teenage kids, trying to race each other to the finish; reminds me of my teenage days. I used to be a National level athlete - I could outrun anyone in the state. It's the confidence and the inspiration that comes with that age, that power inside your mind to conquer the whole world. At least these kids are on the beach, unlike most kids of these day, hooked on to their cell phones or video games.
Beaches also symbolize love - the place where the land and the water meet, is also a place where two hearts meet; a place where lovers come to share their love for each other and life; a place where they decide to stay together for the rest of their lives. I can see at a distance a secluded spot where preparation is going on for a wedding. The groom and bride look beautiful together, very much in love as evident from their looking at each other. God bless the couple!
I hear a voice calling me from behind.
“Excuse me Sir!” I turn around and look back - a little boy, with his bicycle.
“Hello my dear boy. What is your name?”
“Peter, Sir! I came here to learn cycling.”
“Thats good, Peter. Good job!”
“Sir, every time I try to cycle, I feel I am falling. Can you help me?”
“Why not Peter? Let's go!”
I see a new-found courage in his eyes. He wants to learn cycling on his own, but he wasn't afraid to ask for help. I suddenly kept aside my morning newspaper and went with him.
I tell him not to worry, and that I am holding the bicycle so he will not fall. He thinks for a second and gives it a push. I go walking a little faster, holding on. He looks back every few seconds and feels reassured when he sees me behind. After a minute I decide, it's time to let go. He is fully concentrating on the road and doesn't notice my absence this time. He cycles till the end and turns back. The expression on his face is worth everything. I feel like a parent again. He comes and hugs me, and then leaves - thanks from a child for giving back his confidence.
I want to walk on, but I am tired from all the running behind the bicycle. I decide to rest for a while. But even when you rest, its only your body that rests. What a person needs is for his mind to be calm. Calming the mind is much more important than physical rest. I sympathize with the office going employees working non-stop, sitting in front of the computer all day, not even getting up from their desks for lunch. Mind is like a machine, you can use it as much as you want, but remember well-maintained machines have a longer life.
Breathe… I tell myself. Breathing slower and longer refreshes me. I am breathing now, I am calmer now, I am peaceful. I see myself floating in the space, free from the earths hold, free from people's sight, free from problems, questions, free from everything.
I am woken up by a loud noise outside my room. I get up and realize the walls of my room. My prison room. My house for the past 10 years.
“I just lived a lifetime in my dream. What is the noise outside?”
My mate Fred looks at me.
“There has been a fight again,” he says.
“What is this time?”
“The mother of all problems - money!” he tries very hard not to be angry.
“You know Freddy, I am free from all that. I will have no such issues again. Today is my last day here.”
Fred has been my jail mate ever since I came here. He looks at me with a sadness that I have never seen in his eyes. Sad probably because he won't be seeing me from tomorrow.
“How were you so happy all these years?”
“It's all in here!” I answer pointing my finger at my mind, and walking away.