She made her way carefully over the few boulders and grassy patches
Which marked the ending of the pathway and the beginning of the sand.
A quick glance up both sides of the beach showed her that she was all alone.
With a sigh of relief she kicked off her sandals and picking them up in her left hand,
She swung to the right, heading for her favourite spot on this beach.
Sara’s tidal pool she always called it.
Since she was little she had claimed that spot and made it her own.
She didn’t care if others used it, too, but when she was there, it belonged to only her.
Sara made her way deliberately and in her usual easy stride, towards the pool.
It really was just a small spot, where some of the wave water would collect into a pool
And stay there as the rest of the incoming wave turned outgoing and returned to the sea.
Sara gazed across over the water on her left and took note of the activity of the waves.
Her brown eyes open wide and soaking in the beauty of her favourite place in the world.
No matter how she felt inside, whenever she came here, it filled her heart with peace.
Years of living here had taught her to gauge the ebb and flow of the waves….
It would still be low tide for some time yet. Enough time to do what she had come to do.
Slung over her right shoulder, Sara was carrying a woven woolen rectangular bag
Just a basic design as it had been one of her first weaving projects to make.
A few years old and looking a bit worn, but she still loved how it felt and the colours in it – A mix of turquoise and fuchsia.
Her right hand slid gently into the bag and she could feel again the coolness of the pebbles inside.
When she reached her destination, Sara’s face turned serious and filled with purpose.
She placed her sandals down, knelt on the dry sand, turned her bag over and let the pebbles spill out.
Such a variety in them!
Sara was always finding stones and pebbles to pick up wherever she went.
They called to her, and she loved collecting them.
For today she had gone into her mixed collection at home and grabbed three random handfuls –
Plain grey ones, beige ones, with a few shimmery white ones, and also some shiny black ones.
And one unique one that was in the left back pocket of her jeans….it would be the last one placed.
In all her 28 years, Sara had never done anything like this before.
After all that she had gone through recently, she felt that this was one of those important times in life.
And deserving of a ceremony…..her own personal ceremony.
There were 43 pebbles, so it would be fairly easy to make the pattern Sara had in mind.
Heart-shaped. And the 43 was significant because it marked 43 months that had changed her life.
Turned it around. Filled her up with such intense joy and love that she had never felt before.
Yes, not quite four years. And yet a time so full of experience that it seemed much longer.
Sara started with a beige pebble, placing it in the sand in front of her at the bottom of her design-to-be.
And from there both sides would radiate out and upwards – 21 pebbles on each side – in a flowing slant,
And then curving back inwards and downwards. Yes, a heart. Seemingly simple. And just right.
As she picked up pebble after pebble to place into her pattern, to put more significance into the design,
Sara would place a shimmery white one or dark glossy one at certain intervals.
White to highlight those moments of utter bliss, when everything seemed held fast in time.
The smiles, the laughter, the tingly feelings, the look in his eyes that always had her heart bursting in joy.
The darker ones were important, too, in remembrance of those times for lessons that were learned, Challenges met and overcome….. fights, and conflicts.
When her heart design was finished, Sara pulled out the pebble from her back pocket.
Looking once again at its features – as it was one of those rarest of finds – A grey pebble
Smoothed and honed over considerable time…..in the shape of a heart.
That one she placed into the middle of her design. Then Sara stood up…. to see the completed heart.
She smiled. More beautiful than she had envisioned it.
Heart Stones in the Sand.
She glanced over her shoulder to gauge again the activity of the waves.
Enough time to sit down in quiet contemplation facing the pebbles and go through her ceremony.
Time seemed to stand still.
It was when the water started lapping up against her back that Sara opened her eyes.
The gentle coaxing of the sea that she always enjoyed. Time for the next phase.
She stood up, picked up her bag and sandals and moved to slightly higher ground
Where the incoming tides wouldn’t reach her but she could still see her pebbles in the sand.
With each wave that came in stronger than the one before, it wasn’t long before the waves
Touched her heart stones in the sand.
Time was flowing again.
She had picked the tidal pool wisely, as it wouldn’t get the brunt of the forceful tides.
Some of the pebbles of her design would get dislodged and move. Some would stay.
Sara stayed and watched in silence, until the last pebble remained from an outgoing wave
The Heart Stone in the Sand