The cloudless sky colors slightly as the sun sets over the Pacific south of Shell Beach. A couple wears colors of pale pink, peach, green and blue. Their photographer snaps away, his box light flashing after ever soft suggestion of a command he coaxes the couple through.
They walk the same path. Over and over as he judges the light, works the scene, tries his hand at capturing some semblance of a fleeting moment, some emotion of love that could perhaps be held in the shattered light that sets in colors over the blue rippling pond of water that laps before their feet.
If they hold their hands together just so and walk into the fading ray of sunlight. If they can clasp each other close and feign the look of the lover’s eye, staring full into each others’ faces then maybe the rest of the world can see that they do. An engagement photo session perhaps to be shared via social networks and wedding websites.
A couple, well into their years of marriage quietly walks around the makeshift studio, bare feet in the pebbled sand. One in front of the other they stare at their feet and softly gaze at the sky and ocean that only meet at the horizon of the far away setting sun.
They come together as they walk closer to the end of sand, where the pebbles turn to boulders half-submerged in the surf and the boulders turn to a wall of cliffs that lead up to the Shell Beach park full of dog-walking families. Crinkled up-turned faces come to an understanding of laughter and light of heart.
The feet sticking out from between the cliffs turn into a man, naked except for his Hawaii print shorts and beer bottle covered palm. He rises from his chair and wraps himself in a big towel after the sun sucks its heat from the earth. Standing, he sways and watches the water. Flippers kick up at the surface past the breaking waves, near the furthest boulder.
Light fades from the inside of the rocky arch, mimicking the sunlight that erases its memory from the ocean.