On nights like this when the sea is calm and the breeze is cool and the sand is still warm under my feet, I can understand why I came back here.
I walk along the shore and I see what gifts the tide has brought for me. I keep my head down though, or straight ahead. I dare not look to my left, where the jungle's illusions of safety and refuge beckon. I must not look to my right, where the sea still shines with the last vestiges of sunset, and where the reflections of the night's first stars blink at me from each ripple in the water. Speaking to me in code that only I can understand. Calling to me.
Pieces of driftwood deposited at my feet in swirling foam. Some I ignore, and some I hurl back into the water, and some into the trees. Others, others I carry with me to make sure that the next receding tide doesn't reclaim them.
These are my most cherished possessions.
For I know that, on those days when the sea rages against me and sweeps my feet out from under me and pulls me away from my beach, I know that these treasures I've collected will keep me afloat until I can make my way back to shore.
For I know that, on those days when the beasts of the jungle emerge slobbering to attack and devour me, I know that these treasures I've collected can be wielded against them and can fend them off until they tire and move off to seek easier prey.
It's not such a bad life that I find myself living. I walk this beautiful beach and, though I am alone, I am safe.
I can understand why I came back here.
It's paradise, after all.