Shades of Blue

Monday, July 31, 2017

We abandon the cold tiled floors and narrow balcony of our twelfth-floor hotel room, pass the pool, and go down the sand-covered stairs that lead to the beach. The grains of sand slide and crunch under my flip-flops. My almost-two year old is tucked between the crook of my arm and my chest, one pudgy little arm wrapped around my shoulder. The sky is azure and the ocean is undulating layers of marine blue, turquoise, and teal, capped by frothy white waves.

Yet clumps of wiry, brick-colored seaweed litter the sandy beach, and waves crash roughly against the shore, causing my chest to tighten each time my toddler nears the water. My critical eye, my worrying mind, pull me out of the moment. But maybe it's a myth that beauty and ugliness are opposites, that presence and absence are contrary to each other—a myth that we have to abandon one to achieve the other.