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Oceans of Time

I watch my daughter run
in the surf, the waves
chasing her up the gentle
slope, wet sand clinging
to her legs, curls bouncing
behind her head, laughing
with every step. I watch
her, I see myself.

I look out at the ocean
stretched over the edge
of the horizon. The sun
sparkles on the water,
reflects its light and heat.
I hold my son against my hip,
I feel his weight and warmth.
I recall holding my daughter
on the same beach, in the same
sling. In another year,
he will be running along
side his sister, building
sand castles, searching for
seashells, discovering the
rhythms of the sea.

My mother held me on her hip
as a babe, looking out at
the endless expanse of ocean,
sand hot beneath her feet. I
ran with wet legs, sandy feet,
bouncing curls through the surf,
away from the waves. I played
on the beach and in the waves
with my sister and brother.
When I got older, I laid out
on towels, tanning in the sun,
chatting with friends and family.

Time stretches forward and
backward. My past mingles with
my present, with my future,
with my children's futures.
Like the tides, we will recede
from the beach and advance
again later. Like the ocean,
we are always changing,
continuously aging, yet
remaining overall the same.
The ebb and flow continues
in the timeline of my mind.

I watch my mother, I see
myself. One day I will be
relaxing in a beach chair,
reading a novel, helping
my children with their children,
participating in the vacation
as the grandma. I hold the past
and future in my mind like
snapshots in seashell-edged frames.

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