Department of English

Spring 2008 Edition

The Boardwalk

Kylee Chalk
Expressive 1010 1st Place
Professor: Alice Kane

There is a certain place that everyone can call his or her favorite.  It is the place that makes current problems in life disappear and where the feeling of safety and serenity engulf the body.  It may be a specific house or even a city thousands of miles away, but there is always a place.  My place is hundreds of miles away. I have not been there in over five years, yet I can still see it and feel it in my mind as if I were standing there right now.

Closing my eyes I can feel and hear hundreds of things around me.  The sun high above my head is beating down on my body with furious rays, but the heat is non-existent.  There is a cool wind hitting the right side of my body, and with that breeze comes the smell of decaying fish and sunscreen.  Circling around myself and other people, I can hear the call of seagulls begging for the smallest scrap of food.  On either side of me the distant chatter of every day conversation is taking place between families and couples of all ages.  The sand underneath my feet and between my toes is possibly the greatest feeling in the world, but the crashing wave of water cascades over my feet, and a new feeling of sensation is found.  Over and over the pounding waves of water echo in my head as the cool water rises higher and higher up my legs.

Opening my eyes I see a variety of objects and people strewn about.  Standing in the ocean waves looking down at my feet I can see my painted toenails half buried in white sand filled with seashells and tiny particles of gold.  The waves come and go; each time leaving more moist sand and foam around my feet.

Looking out onto the horizon I see an endless ocean of blue.  No islands or buildings in sight, just vast open sea for thousands of miles.  This always gives me the feeling that anything is possible.  Behind me is a shore of snow-white sand with thousands of pummeled seashells scattered all around.  People young and old walk the shore to find the most beautiful for their collection.  Along with the shells scattered along the beach, there are numerous shapes and colors of beach towels along with enough food coolers to feed a small army.

Leaving the water, the sand sticks to every part of me that is still wet, and after only a short moment, my feet are dry and the sand is warm to the touch.  This feeling of warmth is only found here.  There are many hills and dips of sand that await a curious child with a colorful imagination.  Most of these hills are covered with plants that resemble weeds and sometimes seaweed.  Inside the seaweed one can usually find a small crab or if one is lucky, a starfish that has washed up on the shore.

Leading up to this beautiful beach is a mile long boardwalk every person must walk along to reach the water.  Walking back from the beach, I carry my towel and other various beach items on my back.  I look down at my feet covered by black flip flops and white sand.  The wooden panels beneath me are old and cracked, some of them on the brink of destruction.  On either side of this boardwalk is something resembling a miniature jungle.  There is no sand in sight, just masses of trees and other shrubbery along with the occasional “Beware of alligators” sign.  I always knew when I was halfway to the car when I looked up to see the lookout tower off to the side of the boardwalk.  The stairs lead up to a spot where the whole beach can be seen and the sunset is always breathtaking.

Reaching the end of the boardwalk and looking back toward the beach, I feel somewhat empty.  The sand that remains on my feet is all I have left of the ocean now.  Standing under the cold shower outside the public restrooms in my pink and white swimsuit, the sand washes away from my feet and the ocean; my place is gone.