Only the shrill piercing cry of a solitary white seagull, scarcely visible through the encircling
mist, interrupted my lonely walk. The beach was deserted as it should have been, for this was my beach. Whenever the world
started crowding in on me, I came here to walk slowly back and forth within the limits of this mile-and-a-half stretch of
This was my personal refuge, a place where I could be alone to sort out my obscure hopes and confused
thoughts. More than that though, it was a place where I could lay aside my thoughts and become just a part of nature, reveling
in the vast infinite peace and beauty I had temporarily become a part of.
It was serenely peaceful yet, something seemed to be missing. The enchantment of the moment was, for
some unexplainable reason incomplete. Words would be inadequate to describe the dark mysterious splendor of the color and form
of the frothing waves rushing incessantly against the yielding shore. The sound of the foamy waves breaking on the rippled
shore was barely audible through the mist which hung like a light specter over the seascape and reduced visibility to only a
few hundred feet.
The moon shone faintly through the wispy clouds, throwing an eerie light over the beach. A breeze
which blew ever so lightly inwards from the sea caused me to shiver slightly and then to relax, as I zipped up my flimsy
windbreaker and stuck my hands in its pockets. The light smell of the salt in the air made me a little hungry, but I could wait
until later for that. I was more alone and happy here than I could ever have been anywhere else. But still, something seemed
Thus absorbed in my unhurried reflections, I was alone and content when all at once my
sanctuary was no longer private. Someone was walking slowly toward me through the gently swaying mist. The figure coming
toward me was a woman. In the distance, her features were indistinguishable through the haze, but I could see her dark
hair blowing carelessly in the wind. As she drew closer I could see that she was beautiful, with a deeply tanned complexion and
large, dark, innocent looking eyes. I couldn’t make out their color. Her hair was shoulder length, but it never rested on her
shoulders for more than a moment before the wind took hold of it gently, drew it behind her to disperse momentarily, and then
allowed it to settle again on her shoulders.
The reflection of moonlight that radiated faintly about her face gave her an almost surreal look.
Her white fur jacket was unbuttoned, and it subtly revealed a tantalizing figure. She was walking in a casual, almost carefree
manner, but as she passed me I could see she was deeply immersed in thought. I realized that she too was seeking her own private
refuge, her own wordless beauty, and that she had found it in the same place as I.
Then with a start, I understood what had been missing all the while and I quickly turned to call
after her. But no words were needed, for she too had turned in the same instant and started walking slowly back toward me. Our
eyes met, and we both knew that we could finally be entirely content because we had both found our perfect refuge, and each
of us now had the other to share it with.
We had realized simultaneously that beauty was meaningless when seen by only one person. How could
one human being enjoy beauty such as this without the knowledge that someone else also saw, experienced and understood the same beauty?
Without a word, I took her hand in mine and we walked together along the beach. Though neither of us
spoke, each of us could guess what the other was thinking – and sharing. Perhaps for that short time we even shared love. I
had never felt happier or more secure. I glanced at her and saw she was crying. Somehow though I understood, not tears of
sorrow, but tears of happiness because she felt the same as I.
The night passed steadily on and we both sensed that the time for parting had come. We stopped, and
as I turned to face her, she nodded her head. I understood, once again without asking, that she would come here again tomorrow.
The mist had cleared. The sparkling stars were dancing mischievously in the heavens, and the full
moon shined exuberantly. With both her hands held warmly in mine, she smiled contentedly as I leaned forward to kiss her.
She closed her eyes and my lips tenderly touched hers. I imagined the faint stirrings of love, and thought she might be
feeling the same. Her lips were warm, moist and yielding. Before we had parted from our contented embrace, we both knew that we
might someday share the same future together, just as we had shared the same private refuge.
Still with no word spoken, each of us turned and walked our separate way. I think we knew in some
inner place that even though our night together was ended, the dawn of our life together had barely begun.
Chancing one last look for that evening’s memories, I glanced around leisurely pretending to
look past her at the horizon. She wasn’t fooled, and neither was I, as we both discovered ourselves sneaking a quick look at our future.
Copyright ©1998 by Leon D. Schlossberg. All rights reserved.
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