An Evidence of the Earth’s Beauty: A Memoir

Judith Aura Tiara Dwi Trisaka

It wasn’t a really good day for me to take a stroll. My angry stomach was desperately trying to make me go out even more, to be kissed by the sun, only to get it to stop rumbling loudly. The sun was hitting my small figure as I walked back to my dorm in Jatinangor. I started cussing so bad until the heat out of the blue reminded me of one moment. One fine day, one memory, one moment about a place that I somehow knew I couldn’t forget. The said memory liked to snap out in my head out of nowhere, and now, this Jatinangor heat was the trigger.

That day, May 12th, was likely similar to this. The scorching sun had me dripping in sweat, and God knew how much I despised the afternoon sun. Yet I didn’t actually remember how much I cursed the sun for hurting my skin—because I surely didn’t let out any single curse that day. With a deep breath, I hereby stated how much I legitimately loved how the sun was kissing my yellow skin at that time.

My mind rolled back to that day. I was at a beach, located on the very south of Special Region of Yogyakarta, which took me and my friends hours and hours to eventually set our feet there. Pantai Butuh was what it was called. A beach that was so serene and quiet, as if it was blessed and given specially for us for that day. I even had a thought that Pantai Butuh could almost pass as a private beach, for there were almost no tourists seen around, except for us. Being a person who disliked crowds and people’s loud speaking voices, this place was a heaven for my soul. Pantai Butuh was located far away from the life of the cities, hidden behind numerous hills and concealed between two cliffs, making it somewhat difficult to reach. But that was what heaven supposed to be, I suppose. You should’ve gone through rocky ways to finally reach your dream destination.

The magic of this beach started to touch me when my friend and I were on the highest peak of the hill. I was the passenger on our motorbike that he rode, and we were catching our breaths for a moment after going through a distance which felt like millenniums away. I would like to scratch what I said before—touched by the magic, was an understatement. I was likely slapped by the magic of the beach, just like how the sun slapped me with its rays. I set my gaze free to what lied before my thirsty eyes; the sky blue color merged with the dark blue water right at the thin horizon line, with thousands of tiny white specks on the water contrasting with its dark color. The size of the scenery lied upon me was surreal, it was so large that I felt like it wouldn’t fit in my eyes. The thin horizon line got me feeling as if I was seeing the edge of the world with my mere eyes. The width and the length, they were unmeasurable that I couldn’t make where the line ended. As for this time, I still couldn’t believe I was seeing this spectacular scenery with my own, nature-virgin eyes. The angry waves were smashing and rolling toward the shoreline, producing incredibly loud sound which was still heard by my ears from meters away. Note that I had never been a fan of loud noises, but this one ironically gave me the feeling of peace.

As an impatient soul as I was, I snatched off my sandals the minute I stepped on the white, warm-but-almost-hot, sand. When I set my little feet on the sand, I was suddenly a kid again. The white sand instantly buried my feet to my ankle, getting me fatigued only by trying to reach the water. As I finally reached the shore, I touched and splashed the water left on the shoreline, and a squeal which I never thought I had was leaving my lips. The temperature of the water conducted through my already-warm body, giving me the cool sensation I was wishing for. I was being a kid again, splashing cool water to anything I saw; getting my feet on the small lagoon-like, shin-deep pool; looking for little shells to collect, running on the sand, even greeting the angry waves with open hands and a big smile combined.

The color of the sky matched with a lot of things that I could find in my bedroom; it gave me the feelings of comfort. The blue color lied there above me with only little amount of cotton-like clouds tattering on it, giving room for the sun to touch everything beneath. The color of the sky seemed to work really well with its surroundings, contrasting with the color of the sea beneath it, but still complimented and complemented each other at the same time. I still remembered how wide my smile was by only staring at the calm sky and the enraged waves. I didn’t know how they could work together in harmony, despite them being in two personalities at one go. I found it amazing how the mixture of both sky and sea could actually give me a sense of peace, helping me erasing all the storm that was happening inside my mind.

The unique, peculiar scent of the beach also filled my lungs. The scent of it was almost impossible to describe—it was the scent that people could only understand by breathing it in with their own nostrils. It was probably the mixture between the salt brought by the winds, the scent of the sand, the smell of the water, and probably the trees, reef, and cliffs around. The scent was just like a memento, as it was something that made me wish to go back here over and over again. I foolishly tried to breathe in as much air as I could, hoping to bring the peculiar scent with me as a gift. At least I had a little piece of this beach that I could take with me.

I had been to several beaches throughout my life. Pantai Butuh was different from the beaches I’d been to in the sense that the shores were fulfilled with reefs here and there. Sharp reefs, animal-fulfilled reefs, sturdy reefs, were located here and there from the right edge to the left edge of the beach. I remembered stepping on reefs which texture were somewhat felt funny under my feet. It was almost jelly-like, but sturdy at the same time. It turned out that the reefs were covered with some kind of creature which would give shudders—even nightmares to people with tripophobia. It was slippery and felt unnatural, yet inciting the curiosity of this curious girl.

The waves and the seas on southern Java were known to be dangerous and savage. They were like mad at something and kept the anger for centuries, then let it out when the human civilizations were finally settling in. They were almost as loud as kids who threw tantrums to their parents for not having toys they desired the most. They were so strong, so forceful, that they could probably snap people’s neck and bones in one go. They were that frightening, yet—I was going to say it again—gave me the peace I had been longing for so long. The waves made me feel like it helped me letting out all the anger, all the hatred, frustration, and devilish intentions I crammed up inside my small figure. It was the medium for cleansing out bad vibes inside.

I wished I was only talking nonsense before, but I could hold two fingers up in the air to convince that it was what I truly witnessed before my eyes. The privacy the beach gave to me and my friends were like a gift as well as a command for us to stay away from the busy, tiring life of the city that we lived in. The beach, the white sand, the clear blue sky, the dark blue saltwater, the reefs, the unique scent of the beach, the wind, even the evil sunrays—they were indeed and unequivocally small pieces of evidence of the Earth’s beauty.

Photo by: Judith Aura Tiara D.

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