There’s a small child standing on a beach, right near the edge of the ocean. The water varies in its approach to the shore; sometimes, it comes in softly, gently, just touching the little girls feet. It teases her, tries to make her believe it’s a safe thing, inviting her to come closer. At these times, she feels joyful, carelessly happy, dangerously blissful.
Other times, the waves come too close, too quickly. They rush up and grab her around the knees, threatening to pull her in. She’s scared, but something’s making her stick to the spot she’s standing in – she is unable to move away. She’s curious. And she’s still clinging onto that idea of the gentle, teasing water that she encountered earlier. She’s still hopeful.
And still other times, far too often, a vast body of water, a huge wave, comes crashing in to shore fast and engulfs her, covering her, completely enveloping her in loud, strong, terrifying white foam. It knocks her off her feet, swirls her around and around. It disorientates her, makes her believe that left is right, up is down, wrong is right. It tears her apart, devours her. It breaks her. Then it spits her back up on the sand, where some force of nature drags her back onto her feet and makes her do it all over again.