The beach is her haven. Laying stretched out on her back, grains of sand massage her back as the heat of the sun penetrates her. She feels a pleasantly mild burning sensation on the delicate skin of her forearm as it rests lazily across her eyes, shielding them from the glare. A smile plays at the corners of her lips as she listens to the sounds of the waves crashing, teasing her gently with their promise of cool relief.
She stretches out, toes pointing to the ocean, arms above her head. Rising to her feet, she starts to run toward the water, a delighted laugh spilling forth as the water swirls around her feet. She waits, poised to dive into the next wave and when it comes she lets it embrace her, diving recklessly home.
She's in the forest beneath a canopy of vibrant green. Cool, crisp leaves brush against her thighs as her bare feet move slowly along the narrow path. She smiles softly as the fresh air caresses her skin. As she draws closer, she can hear the sound of water beyond the birdsong and it's not long before she catches tantalising glimpses of the cave.
Soon she reaches her special place; a dark cavern where water cascades from an opening in the back of the waterfall. Although no sun visits here, the water gives up a welcoming light of it's own as she raises her arms above her head and dives. For a moment she is suspended in space before the cool, crystal water brings her home.
*photographs sourced from google images. The waterfall is a place here in Australia called Natural Arch. I spent more of my time here than in school during my teen years.