I feel the breeze as it comes from the ocean gently cool my shoulders. I have my favourite beige hoodie on and some denim shorts on, ready for a day at the beach. I want to dive in. I always wondered what the embrace of the ocean would feel like, but…sharks. I know it sounds stupid, but maybe it’s irrational fear that keeps me from trusting the gentle waves. It isn’t their fault that I have this irrational fear of them. I look up and away from the ocean to face the sky. It’s clear, as it should be at the beach. Despite the breeze, the sun goes on to warm the sand and the ocean. I venture into the water and stand feeling the sand beneath and between my feet. I have always loved to walk along the shoreline of the rushing ocean water, but now I’m in it and stretch out my arms wide to embrace the breeze.
My friends are behind me spreading out their towels to make one giant makeshift, multi-coloured picnic blanket. They take out the woven picnic basket and look up at me. Why are you staring? Are you marveling that I am so willing to face my fears? Are you surprised at my bravery or perhaps you wish you were me? What do you see in my eyes? Fear? Courage? I hope you see courage beneath this blanket of fear, so much like your makeshift blanket–layer after layer to form its pattern. I match that blanket so much more than you’ll ever know. My fear makes me a multi-coloured blanket. There is courage underneath, do you see it? As I run over to all of you full of joy and embracing you with all the love in my heart, I know the unbridled courage underneath, but yet…I still fear sharks.