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The Beach

             I"m walking along a beach. It is not just any beach; it is my beach. Of course not really, but I call it "my beach." It is a stretch of beach off the gulf coast near Biloxi, Louisiana. Every time I am here, there is nothing else but the beach and me. I"m walking barefoot in the sand, reveling in the serenity of the scene before me. The sand feels soft, mushy and slightly abrasive. With each step I leave a footprint in the wet, grainy earth. It doesn"t last for a long time because the gentle waves soon overflow the shore and take it into the wide ocean. The vast expanse of the ocean yawns before me in all its mystery, with rolling colors of sable blue and white tipped waves. The waves are drawn to the shore by the warm, gentle breeze. The air is saturated with mist from the sea. The moisture clings to my skin and hair. The wind blows my damp hair into my face, refreshing me with every gust. The salty smell of the ocean water and the dank seaweed hang in the air as if it were something I could touch. As I watch the red sun sink smoothly into the ocean, various shades of red are cast upon the sea. The colors range from blood red to a flamingo pink. The sound of the waves, lapping at the shore plays a virtual symphony for the mind. In the sky above, a seagull is crying in a strident calling, but even this sound is not discordant. The salty water is cool, but not cold, as it swirls around my ankles. The shore is peppered with small, round stones that have been pounded smooth by the tide. There are seashells of all shapes and sizes peeking up from beneath the sand. As I stroll along the water's edge, I come across a seashell no bigger than a golf ball. I pick it up to examine it. It is full of sand and I wipe it off on my shirt. It is black and green with white spots on it, lime or something, which makes it cold and slick to the touch. But when I turn it around, then I can see the obvious beauty of it.

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