The Other Side of the Rock: "The Beach"

Published: Thursday, 02 June 2011 Written by Jamila Pascal

An extract from "The Other Side of the Rock"

The Beach

After making my way past a fairly diminutive swamp and through salt soaked Almond trees, I had finally arrived at the beach. The beach had an unearthly glow to it today, perhaps because it was the middle of the Caribbean summer, a merciless summer with sweltering heat and a summer perfect for basking in the beach’s cool, azure waters. As I walked, the water rose up and suddenly collapsed on the shore, filling up coral enclosed pools and then swiftly dragging fan coral and silver, polished stones beneath its glimmering surface. I had always been enticed by the sea’s sparkling façade, its underlying evils and the way it glittered hypnotically, threatening to pull the enchanted mind closer, deeper into its clutches.
The sand was a much calmer part of this beach, moving only when the wind or waves told it too. However, it too had its evils, collaborating with the sun to burn my feet until I stopped ‘hurting it’. I walked faster, hoping to alleviate my pain, and I noticed, on my right, a swamp, much larger than the one I had seen before, and much more eerie looking. It had once been a river, long ago, before something had blocked its water flow.
Finally at the end of the beach, I sat and observed the lean coconut trees and how the leaves seemed to wave at the sun. There was nowhere left to go now, except over an enormous, golden-brown headland standing its ground against the sea, its eternal enemy. And yet, even in its hostile environment, sea-grape plants stood on top that great rock, short but mighty. Mightier than perished crabs and their empty shells, and mightier than the sea for a moment.
And yet, having noticed the sea’s evil side, I began climbing the rock as I had done countless times before. Perhaps I could conquer the sea, I thought. I could be a Queen ruling over the Great Blue…. Or maybe not. Maybe I would just see what lay waiting for me today on the other side of the rock, a bridge to the other side of my dreams.

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