Judy Rae

48th Anniversary Story Contest – Honorable Mention Petals on The Sand

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Honorable Mention – “God Palm” by Michael McKinney. Rolling Hills Estates, August 31, 2017. Nikon D810

Petals on The Sand

by Jacqueline Warstadt

It was a balmy evening on July 24th, 2018, when I stepped outside for my nightly walk, to the shores of Torrance Beach.
The sunlight in it’s glory was reflecting nicely on the sea kelp, that stretched along the shoreline. Small pools of sea water were forming with the rising tide. I stopped to bask in the beauty that was all around me. As I reached completion to the turnaround point of my walk, I started the walk back, tracing my own footprints from moments earlier. There was a contrast of bright beautiful colors, in the path ahead of me. As I got closer I could see the most eye-catching roses that I’ve ever seen. Some were washing in and out with the tide, while others were lying on the sand. There was a teenage girl who could see them as well. She began to gather them in abundance. So much so, that her arms were full of these magnificent flowers. I then stopped to take in the beauty of the setting sun. As I glanced down I could see long stems with only a few roses, in the shape of a cross. Perhaps a memorial symbol in memory of one who had passed away. The girl walked up where I stood and was going to reach down for more roses. She then paused and looked at me, almost for my consent as she said, “I’ve never seen roses like this, on the beach before.” I said quietly, I think they could be here in loving memory of someone who is no longer with us. She, without speaking, began to lay down the many roses that she collected just moments before, over the cross made from rose stems. She put each flower down with such care and concern. I told her how pretty it looked, with the way she arranged them. Her mom walked over to see what she was doing. Her mom smiled at me when I told her I believed these were memorial roses. They walked back in the opposite direction after saying goodbye.
I took photos of the flowers to be reminded of the kindness and respect shown by the girl on the beach. The sun had disappeared, and it was now time to walk back home.
I walked with a feeling of gratitude, for human kindness and the reflection of petals on the sand

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