etchings in the sand

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She walked along the beach, noticing at once the designs the waning tide etched upon the shore. Time and nature wrote their stories over everything. No one living long enough would be exempt. It’s not as if she expected to be, she just didn’t see why she must be confined to paper.

The wizard knelt by the sand, studying the image. The tides often drew these trees upon the sand as they ebbed. Never the same tree, but always an ancient, magical tree. The wizard lived his life by symbols and he could no more ignore these trees than he could understand them.

With a sigh, the tide began to withdraw, whispering out to her droplets to call them home. They balked, as children often do, lingering in the sunlight and delighting in the sand, until she pulled them, unwilling, out to sea. Their dragging fingertips left etches on the sand she did not have time to hide.