• Sue Short

RIP TIDE

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

I lay alone on the sandy beach in Cornwall

It was a special place, full of memories

My beach towel felt soft and comforting

Protecting me from the gritty sand touching my skin

But it was too hot to sunbathe

The smooth shiny water seemed even more welcoming

I got up from my towel and walked towards the sea

I noticed the waves looked different from minutes before

Not the usual powerful waves that sometimes made entry into the sea difficult

Saltwater statements alternating at angles

But low and sinister moving head-on against the shore

As if they wanted to drive their way inland

I didn’t notice the flatter patches of water becalmed but containing great energy

As I swam I felt a strong power taking me further out to sea

I wasn’t in control of my swim anymore

Another force was in charge

Frightening and powerful

I was too far out to sea to dig my toes into the sand beneath

Thick sand and mud had joined me on my journey

Could I fight against the currents?

Then I remembered what Frank had once told me

Don’t try to swim against the current

Even strong young swimmers can’t do that

Swim parallel to the beach until you feel the force of the riptide currents has dissipated

It seemed as if Frank’s voice was calling out to me

Don’t fight the riptide

Then my feet touched the hard surface beneath

I walked out of the sea exhausted

But free to enjoy the remainder of that beautiful day

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