The horizon stretched in every direction, a vast sea of endless blue until it met the distant shore. The sun was setting, setting its final fire across the sea and a golden hue spread across the water, its light reflected off the waves, each one a mirror, shimmering and shifting with the tide.
The woman stood in the shallow water of the receding tide, watching the light of the setting sun. The sand beneath her feet was wet but still soft and warm, like a comforting embrace. The air was thick with salt, and the sound of the waves as they gently rolled onto the shore filled her ears. She felt a sense of peace wash over her, and she savored it, for it was a feeling she had not felt in a long time.
She was alone but it was not an unfamiliar feeling. She was used to solitude, and in a way she welcomed it. As she stood there in the fading light the world seemed to take pause and for a moment, everything was still.
The woman took a deep breath and closed her eyes, letting the salt air fill her lungs. The ocean was her sanctuary the only place in the world where she could truly be alone with her thoughts. She thought back to simpler times when the world was different, when her worries seemed infinitely smaller.
The waves lapped against her feet, a reminder that life was still going on, and that soon it would be time to move on, but for now she could stand here in the surf, and watch the sky turn to gold. She could feel the warmth of the sand on the soles of her feet, and the coolness of the sea air on her skin.
She tried to soak in this moment, this evening this one last night of peace before she had to move on. She watched the sun dip lower, its orange and red rays cascading across the water and turning it to molten gold. The sky was painted in swirls of orange and pink, the colors of a summer sunset.
As she stared out at the horizon she felt a pang of nostalgia. She thought of all she was leaving behind, the memories she had made the people she had known, the loves she had lost. Her heart was heavy, but at the same time, she felt a spark of excitement. She was ready for what the future held.
The sun was almost gone now, and the sky was quickly turning to night. But she wasn’t ready to leave yet. She still had one more task to complete before she could move on. She bent down to the sand and slowly began to trace the outline of a heart careful to make sure it was just perfect.
When she was done, she stepped back and admired her work smiling to herself. She remembered a time, long ago, when she had first drawn a heart in the sand. She had been a young girl standing here on this beach, watching the sun set over the ocean. Now, here she was so many years later, standing in the same spot watching the same sunset, and leaving her own heart in the sand.
As the darkness slowly crept in, it was time to go. She turned to the sea one last time letting the peace of the moment wash over her. Then, with a heavy heart, she began to walk away, for there was much waiting for her on the other side.
July 5th, 2023
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