One of the best times on the beach is early morning. You may spot a runner or two, a few shell collectors, some slow moving coffee drinkers……but mostly the beach is clear. All you’ll hear is the sound of the waves crashing onto the sand….. and the sea birds close to shore. IMG_4231

The lifeguard tower is empty. No need for a rescuer in the early mornings on this beach.

But when the crowds come, the lifeguard stares out at the water. He watches the ocean, looking for the swimmers and the floaters and the heads bobbing up and down with the waves.

When the riptides are dangerous, the lifeguard stands tall in the tower to make sure no one is caught in them. The whistle shrills loudly when he spots a swimmer too far out. He waves the red flag motioning the swimmer to come toward shore. If the swimmer ignores the warning, the lifeguard waves the flag passionately and blows the whistle over and over. Sometimes the lifeguard climbs down the tower and runs to the edge of the water. He waves his flag forcefully while blowing the whistle until the ocean dweller obeys.

He is guarding lives after all.


7 thoughts on “Riptides

  1. The sentence: “When the riptides are dangerous, the lifeguard stands tall in the tower to make sure no one gets caught in them” sounds like a causal statement. Does standing tall (cause) provide the necessarily providential effect of saving lives?

    Also, please don’t give up on the comma. It’s a useful punctuation mark.

    1. Thank you. You’re right, the comma is certainly useful. Standing tall allows the lifeguard a better view and positions him to act if necessary. I should have used “is” instead of “gets”.
      And this is the beauty of the edit option.

  2. I think the ambiguity involves the verb “make sure” that has two meanings: one of “to verify” and the other “to ensure.” But you’re right that changing “gets” to “is” helps.

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