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Peace

“Peace and quiet.” 
What a strange phrase. 
Is the typical setting one envisions when asked to call to mind a peaceful place not a beach?
The coast is undeniably peaceful. 
With its gorgeous views of the cerulean sky and its soft, warm sand, it is easily the picture of relaxation. 
But it isn’t a still picture. 
It moves. Fluidly and continuously. 
The children scamper about. 
Their parents amble distances behind. 
Energetic dogs leap into the waves in pursuit of the toys thrown by their owners. 
The waves themselves crash against the shore before retreating back into the formidable sea.
There is no sign of any of this stopping. 
No indication that the seagulls soaring in packs overhead will ever stop for respite. 
No signal of the ceasing of gull squawks, the halting of children’s laughter, the ending of camera snaps, the yielding of flowing water. 
The mothers and fathers won’t ever stop fretting over the sand in the blankets or the lack of sunscreen on their babies’ faces. 
The water won’t ever quieten its roar, which drowns out every squeal of delight and scoff of disdain. 
And the swimmers won’t ever quieten their voices, which have been raised to be heard over the rush of the ocean beating against the shore, however impossible that goal may be. 
But, for once, everything is as it should be. 
Nobody is discontent. 
Nothing is out of place. 
The sun is where it belongs, shining above the scene of leisure and serenity. 
The lifeguards dutifully keeping watch over the beach, the planes flying advertising banners over the heads of the happy crowd, the boats streaming merrily in the distance. 
Peace is not quiet. 
No, peace is loud.

--Kelly N., 9th-12th Grade