There was no sunlight, only the flickering light from atop the hill, and the moon. I saw a slide made of sand, with bumps and hills, just like the big yellow slide at the county fair when I was a kid. But, This one was made of sand. The slide was made into a hill, a hill of sand. People all around, sitting on either side, in bleachers made of sand. This was some sort of spectacle and something I was required to do. A few young girls went before me. They sat at the top of the slide and pushed off into the night. Each sliding down, over the bumps and hills, then finally landing in the water. The water of the ocean. Each girl afraid, but determined to take this plunge into the darkness of the sea, and if this were a right of passage for some greater thing.
Then, the time was mine. I sat atop the slide made of sand, eager to go, but afraid. I looked to my right and saw a familiar face of a woman I knew as a girl. She smiled and said, go ahead, it’s your turn. She smiled as if she were proud of me for making it to this point. “Go”, I heard her as she gave me a gentle nudge.
Off I went, down the slide made of sand. The wind in my hair and everything passing so quickly. I was flying, going so fast that I missed all the bumps and hills in the slide and just soared far above them. My skin met the sand about halfway down, for only a moment before taking to the air once again. Suddenly, there was no more slide. I’d come to the end of it. I found myself being propelled from the shore into the darkness of the ocean. I landed feet first in the black water, staying for only seconds before turning my body around and swimming back to the shore. I’d done what I was supposed to do and exceeded the expectations of the crowd, waiting there, watching me. I’d done better than they wanted me to do, much better. The crowd was silent, silent in disbelief.