Wordsmith Challenge #14

The Beach

I thought I would be happy once I saw the sea again. One year of living in the mid-west has prevented me from visiting a real beach, one which does not mean piles of sand intentionally dumped by men along the edge of a lake like what the campus beach has, but one with all the waves and the sky edging in the horizon. When the girls in my class proposed to have a girls only picnic to the nearest beach during the break which would last for a week, I joined them without hesitation. I figured that a vacation in the beach would really heal all the headache of late-night studying and also my homesickness that usually creeps up upon me whenever holiday arrives. But I was wrong. As I was walking on the sand, watching the glorious setting sun, I missed my family who was thousand of miles away from here even more.

Almost every weekend we would pack away some food and picnic gears and drove two hours to the west of Java. The long drive was always boring and it was not a scenic drive either. It was not until we were nearing the sea that we would see part of the beach here and there, peeking at the edge of gated lands, among the coconut trees, houses, or even in the middle of a traditional market which was divided by a small river filled with small boats owned by local fishermen. When we were little, we would scream with joy whenever we saw it, just like in Finding Wally game. We knew that it meant we almost reached our destination and soon we would be playing at that beach.

Our parents never chose the beach owned by hotels or rented cottages because they usually charged visitors a very expensive amount of fee. We would rather go to empty lots owned by local villagers who would ask only a few thousand rupiahs for a parking fee. We did not always find the right spot on the first attempt, so we sometimes had to drive in and out from not a very inviting parts of the beach, those that have to many rocks or too many visitors. That was why leaving our house as early as possible was crucial because we did not have to compete with so many other people who had the same objective as we did.

As soon as we found the perfect spot, we would bring the tikar, the cooler filled with drinks and the basket filled with foods. My sister and I would go for a swim while our parents would sit on the tikar, talking and munching the snacks made entirely by my Mom. My father was a worshiper of delicious foods while my Mom was a kitchen goddess. They are a perfect match when it comes to foods and eating. My Mom had also prepared a complete meal for lunch. She would call us, who probably were busy looking for clam shells and hermit crabs to have lunch together under the coconut tree. Funny how foods would be ten times more delicious when we ate them out here even when they were a bit cold or when there were only the simplest meals. After lunch, we would play again under the sun, darkening our already brown skin. When we got tired, we would just lie down and had some nap, feeling safe with our parents guarding us close by.

When I opened my eyes, I would see my parents holding hands like the most romantic couple ever lived on earth. I treasure this memory. Maybe that is why I like the beach so much. I noticed how my Father seemed so relax during these trips to the beach. He did not yell at us even once and he did not get angry with Mom as easily as he used to. It was like he was a different person. Mom also looked happier and more confident. She talked and smiled a lot more. Instead of pushing us away in order to finish the household chores like she did at home, she would take time to just watch us playing, listening to our excitement when we talked about our latest found treasure at the beach, and brushing our long hair while drying it in the breezy wind. We would spent the time until the sun disappeared in the horizon and went back home in another two hour drive that did not seem so long after all.

The darken sky and the chilly wind brought me back to the present. I looked into the horizon for the last time and letting the waves touched my toes. Somewhere out there at the edge of the sea, I know my sister, my Mom and Dad might be looking at the same sea and thinking about me and wishing that I would be happy even without them by my side. I turned around and started walking toward the beach house, and was glad to see the barbecue grill out in the patio and my good friends smiling at me, asking where I have been. For now, this is home, and reaping more wonderful memories and treasures is what I am going to do.

Tikar: a mat made from coconut leaves used like a blanket for picnicking

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16 thoughts on “Wordsmith Challenge #14

  1. nanabiroe said: your story make me feeling blue, hehehe

    It is a mellow story, just like how I feel whenever I remember my family back home. Kangen banget sama Indonesia Na….gak terlukiskan seberapa dalamnya.

  2. 1. which of the following is NOT suggested by paraghraph 2? a…b…c…d…2. “It was not until we were nearing the sea” the word “it” refers to :…..hehehehehehe,,,,,,,,,

  3. ayuristina said: 1. which of the following is NOT suggested by paraghraph 2? a…b…c…d…2. “It was not until we were nearing the sea” the word “it” refers to :…..hehehehehehe,,,,,,,,,

    Loh…malah bikin soal. Ayu tuh suster apa dosen ya? He…he…he. Apa kabar Yu?

  4. penuhcinta said: Loh…malah bikin soal. Ayu tuh suster apa dosen ya? He…he…he. Apa kabar Yu?

    hehehehe,,, dua-duanya mbak……..alhamdulillah kabar baik…… mangnya masih lama ya mbak pulang ke indonesianya???

  5. ayuristina said: hehehehe,,, dua-duanya mbak……..alhamdulillah kabar baik…… mangnya masih lama ya mbak pulang ke indonesianya???

    Masih lama, sambil menunggu keajaiban he..he.

  6. mudah-mudahan keBesaranNya segera ditampakkan ya mbak…….. heheheheheanggap aja sedang liburan di luar negeri, masih banyak yang pengen mencicipi “luar negri” pa lagi amrik,,, tapi belum kesampean….. kan jadinya Imo dan adik juga jadi pinter dan keren karna sekolah disitu…..

  7. ayuristina said: mudah-mudahan keBesaranNya segera ditampakkan ya mbak…….. heheheheheanggap aja sedang liburan di luar negeri, masih banyak yang pengen mencicipi “luar negri” pa lagi amrik,,, tapi belum kesampean….. kan jadinya Imo dan adik juga jadi pinter dan keren karna sekolah disitu…..

    Aaaamiiin. Iya, aku mencoba melihat positifnya saja supaya tetap bisa bersyukur. Insya Allah ya mereka bisa menimba yg baik2 dr bersekolah di sini. Makasih doanya ya Yu. Kamu baik sekali.

  8. Such lovely memories. I like the way you did not completely romanticize the experience; you included some of the not-so-great memories along with the good ones, but you also expressed the happiness and love your family felt for each other very well. And you did a very good job of tying the ending together with the beginning and bringing the story full circle. I am really looking forward to reading more of your writing! 🙂

  9. flowerchild3 said: Such lovely memories. I like the way you did not completely romanticize the experience; you included some of the not-so-great memories along with the good ones, but you also expressed the happiness and love your family felt for each other very well. And you did a very good job of tying the ending together with the beginning and bringing the story full circle. I am really looking forward to reading more of your writing! 🙂

    Thanks so much Kira. You have been very encouraging and your comments have boosted my spirit to write some more. I’m glad you noticed the not so happy memories in the story because that’s the moment or the turning point when the main character realized that she should not be drowning in her feeling of missing her family.

  10. That was lovely,Sayang , It reminds me of our own vacations when we were children. My dad always took us to either the beach or the mountains. I loved them both.Like with your family there was always a lot of bickering between the three of us kids, and especially our parents when we were at home, but on vacation, everyone seemed to be on their best behavior. I’m sorry to say I haven’t been able to make many happy vacation memories for my kids, There was never any money for travel. It would be nice to be able to make it up to them. I broadened their horizons as much as I could, with day trips locally. Reading your story was like a trip down memory lane, thank you. I loved every word of it!

  11. debbydoes said: That was lovely,Sayang , It reminds me of our own vacations when we were children. My dad always took us to either the beach or the mountains. I loved them both.Like with your family there was always a lot of bickering between the three of us kids, and especially our parents when we were at home, but on vacation, everyone seemed to be on their best behavior. I’m sorry to say I haven’t been able to make many happy vacation memories for my kids, There was never any money for travel. It would be nice to be able to make it up to them. I broadened their horizons as much as I could, with day trips locally. Reading your story was like a trip down memory lane, thank you. I loved every word of it!

    Thank you so much Debby. There is nothing more heartwarming then reading a comment like yours. I am really a novice at writing and still trying to be more confident about letting my works be read by other people. So reading comments from friends at Wordsmith who are always encouraging really helps me. My situation is similar with yours. I have two kids and as much as I wanted to take them on vacation out of this small town I’m living in, I could only take them to the nearest big town maybe once or twice a year. Maybe we can exchange ideas on how to spent weekends or holidays in a small town. I started taking my kids to go fishing last summer and they liked it!

Makasih ya udah kasih komen.

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