Serene; Alone; Distant; Words which reflect a dream for those who love to enjoy loneliness. Well, perhaps loneliness is a strong word for people who are alone are not automatically lonely. Maybe one likes to stay in his room and does whatever he loves to do. Maybe two people, alone, feel like being together and don’t mind others’ business. Or maybe five people who, at that time, wanted to be an outcast just for once in their lives, trying to find a serene and distant place where some of them finally found that one of their precious dreams had come true.
Sitting on a seat—the best one we had ever had—in this boat, we were heading to the last beach to be that day—Beach Skouw. Frankly speaking, I had never known this beach before. Well, it was pretty funny, fool, and such a shame to admit it for I had lived in Jayapore for more than twenty years. And I just knew that the beach was exactly before my very eyes all this time. I had neither noticed nor heard anything about it. Well, even though I was a beach lover, I only went swimming in all beaches I had been.
As our boat got closer to the shore, I was totally mesmerized by the view. The sand was just incredibly white, like pure white as if nobody had ever touched it with their dirty fingers. Green bushes and trees, spreading like gigantic molds, made the beach look so tranquil. The cyan and lagoon water, in contrary, gave the vibrant touch—it was like a place where serenity and liveliness came together. There was a high steep cliff behind the beach, with thousands of plants hanging and swaying their leaves as “welcome” gesture. And like other huge objects, the cliff got bigger as we got closer.
Bapak P docked the boat by the shore, and we landed on the smooth white sand as bringing our stuff to a shady tree. 45 minutes ago, I thought I had found a new beautiful beach as I was swimming in beach Pasir 6 ; and three weeks ago I felt like in heaven as I marveled the gorgeousness of Bukisi. But there, I was feeling something that I couldn’t explain myself. There was no one else on this beach but us. It was like we unofficially owned the beach. Got no people to share, just for us. And everything was just perfect that day; the sunny sky, the calm sea; and the silky breeze.
I put off my green sleeveless cloth, wore my goggles, and then threw myself into the warm ocean. Mba Filipin and Bang Def then joint me to enjoy the crystally clear water. As I was snorkeling, I found that the sea floor looked exactly like Base-G—Lots of sea grass with few fishes swimming around. A bit disappointing actually. Moreover, I had no passion no more to explore the corals. I was somehow pretty sure that probably 50 meters farther to the depth, I could have found the heaven, but tiresome defeated my spirit. I lent my goggles to Bang Def who immediately snorkeled around. I then remained my body in the water, next to Mba Filipin.
From this spot, I could see Nyonya K in distance, looking for sea shells buried beneath the sand. She seemed to be enjoying, especially when she found a beautiful shell—a big smile curved on her face. Bon-bon got nothing to do but sleeping. After all beach trips that we had together, I never felt Bon-bon could enjoy swimming in the sea. He wasn’t able to swim anyhow. Probably he just enjoyed having trip when he could be himself and sleep whenever he wanted to, like he was doing. And lastly Band Def, the new guy in office. This was the first time he had had a trip in Jayapore, and might be the best trip he ever had. He seemed to be having fun as I saw him snorkeling as though he could have breathed under water.
Like we always did, Mba Filipin and I then went to the edge of the beach—to the right side. We were walking slowly as enjoying the little waves coming and washing our feet. As we reached the end, high rock wall stood before us, showing us a periphery. Because of the waves, the wall was uniquely curved in so that when sitting inside, we had a canopy to shade us from the sun. “Thanks a million, Fier” said Mba Filipin, her fingers touched the rock wall. “For what?” asked me, wondering why she thanked me. The waves muffled in a distance, echoing in the cliff—which somehow made me feel like there was only two of us in this world. “For today” replied her simply, eyes on me, “This beach has become a dream of mine for almost six years. Can you imagine? Six years is definitely not a short time”. I just stared at her, not wanting to say anything. Instead, I took a stone under the water and hurled it to the ocean. She then continued “Every time I went to work, I never had a day not having a look on this beach in the distance. Right in front of me yet I couldn’t have just grabbed it. I used to say to myself that one day I would conquer this beach. And then, here we are, sitting while having our feet soaked by the water”. There was happiness in her words, but also sadness at the same time—I didn’t know why. I could only smile at her, and sadly still got nothing coming out of my mouth. “Let’s go to the other side”, finally said me.
This time Nyonya K joined us walking to the other edge. She was holding a plastic bottle in her hand, containing beautiful shells. In the middle of our way, we found an extensive coral floor coming out of the sand. It looked someway bizarre. Like a mole on a smooth face. But, yeah, every beach had their own beauty. And beauty didn’t mean perfection. The coral was slippery, making us walk carefully as we stepped among the shallow cavities. As getting to the edge, we found that this side was wholly covered with trees; lots of trees. We took many pictures, then had a long conversation about what people had been doing in the city while were making ourselves “stranded” there.
It was funny. People dared to pay a bunch of money just to have a trip like I was having. They paid a lot, journeyed a lot, only to be alone on the beach. And there we were, spending a little, I meant A LITTLE money, being in a place where most people wanted to be. And the funnier thing was most of Jayaporeans didn’t even realize they had this heaven exactly before their very eyes. It was almost like they took it for granted. I could clearly see the town with its commerce and modern life from this place. Did they know we are here? Asked me, more to myself. I was once like them, being drowned into daily activity and not even noticing what was around—the waves suddenly brought me out of my thought as they drenched my feet—Yeah, I used to be like that. But now I think I’ve come to appreciate more what I have around me. At least before it is taken away.
“Let’s go back”, said Mba Filipin. By saying that, I knew she meant going back to the swimming spot, not going back to Jayapore. She could never spend half a day on the beach. It was always supposed to be the whole day. I remembered looking astonishingly at her swimming in Tablanusu at 6 o’clock in the morning! As though 16-hour swimming the day before was nothing. We still got an hour before we headed home anyway. So there was enough time to play in the water again.
~~Dream would always be a dream unless you dared to make it come true. Six years was indeed a long time to wait. But, when you did make effort, it would pay off once you got it in your hands ~~
~Beach Skouw. Isang lugar para sa isang espesyal na taong mapangarapin~
This journal is written in English as an attribute for a special someone 🙂