Sneakers in Sand (repeat)

By Dina Relles

September 9, 2019

Sneakers in Sand (repeat)
Originally posted February 2016. 
The baby's shoes were nowhere.

That morning was spent in the chaotic swirl of cleaning and packing the vacation house. Countertops lined with coffee cups, milky-bottomed cereal bowls, last laundry loads, shouts up the staircase, don’t forget the shampoo in the shower! It was New Year’s Eve. We had a flight to catch.

As my fingers ran along the felt floor of the rental car, I remembered—the beach. We’d taken them off by the water’s edge. He frolicked barefoot in the surf. Sand in his brother’s eyes. We’d left in a hurry. We’d left them behind.

But that was yesterday.

A deep, irrational sadness swelled at the thought of my son’s sweet shoes sitting at the shoreline as night fell. The waves lapping relentlessly, the mysterious draw of the ocean depths, the heavy awareness that, when it comes to water, what goes in does not return.

That year was waning. Soon our flight home would hurl us ahead—collapsing hours into minutes—as it shuttled us eastward. Even suspended in sky, we fall prey to time’s pull.

Now I stood in the late December sun, palms shading my eyes, scanning the vacant shore. Seaweed scraps and debris littered where water met land. I thought of long walks and late nights, first kicks and then first steps.

Suddenly, I saw them. Two small sneakers, sitting steadfast in the sand.

I reached down to grasp what I thought was gone. 

"Shoes" provided by jmettraux via Flickr's Creative Commons license.
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