Embrace of Souls by Roy Neyman

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I am a blind man. It is not warm, here, where I rest. It does not feel safe, yet I have chosen to make this my lookout because, against reason, it does feel right. The sound around me has guided me beside the long shore to this place, the murmuring sea to one side, the whispering palms to the other. Now, leaning back upon a gentle bench of sand thrown up by the tide, I have shuffled my feet into its grainy surface. My arms are clutched about me to ward off the cold breeze.

When I first arrived it was warm. The cool sea, swirling about my naked ankles, washed the sand from beneath my feet, the grains a million tiny hands clutching at my ankles for me to linger. Wondrous, sensual fronds of breeze wafted across the giggling waves that watched, embarrassed, as the wind whispered in my ear, caressed the curve of my neck, and dissolved my garments from about me. I stood there, arms outstretched to the peaceful world that beckoned me as a lover would, as the fabric of my clothes was taken away, thread by thread, to mingle with the grains of sand. The sun flung its warmth around me, a comforting cloak that soothed the fatigue from my body and enticed me to stand hugging myself within its luscious folds.

Now, as I wait, I ponder how I came to this place, this singular beach among the many across which I have shuffled since time, for me, was a infant. I close my eyes and remember how I have walked sightless along this shore, tentative steps long since lengthening into a modest stride, toes reaching ahead to sense the jagged shell, the sharp stone, the treacherous rock that may cause a stumble. Many a sandy beachhead have I mounted, myriad rounded coves have I skirted. A precious few have offered a resting place, warm and soft for a time, but they were never really home. The wind always came up, chilled and harsh, turning the sand hard, frigid, coarse, …no longer a comforting couch upon which to recline. Each time, upon standing to depart those false harbors, it has been with the realization that my senses had betrayed me. Though they had offered respite from my wandering, the warmth of the sand had only penetrated skin deep, the breeze only ruffled my hair. The sun had burned my face, but left my body still cold at the core.

What difference makes me huddle here now, my skin taut with the cold, my shoulders tight with anxiety, nervous that the glorious day will not return. It is that I still feel the lingering tendrils of those first sensations that enveloped me as the beach pitched up slightly beneath my step, as I ascended to that point of revelation overlooking this long sought lagoon, …the sun that warmed my skin from the inside out, the sand that begged me to stay, the wind whose warm arms reached right in to hug my heart. Though blind, I am no longer sightless. I can see the hazel eyes of the sheltered cove before me, turning shades of blue as the sun rises in the sky. She is still there and I yearn for the tide to return her to my side so that we may, once again, share that blissful embrace of souls.