I heard that story once. The one where the man dreams he’s walking along a beach and is puzzled as to why there is only one set of footprints when God told him he’d always walk alongside him in the lowest points of his life. And then God told him that when there was only one set of footprints, he was carrying the man. It was a young guy on a bus that told me years ago. I never thought much of it. Beach. Footprints. God. Dream. Too much philosophy for me.
But now, sitting on a hot beach in Cornwall, watching a young man carrying someone who looks old enough to be his father, that story doesn’t seem so far-fetched. They’re laughing together, the sea breeze blowing through their hair. They leave one set of footprints branded in the sand, a symbol of hope.
A young woman barks down her phone close by. She groans and throws it as far as she can.
“Are you alright?” I pad over and ask her, the sand burning the soles of my wrinkled feet.
“What’s it to you, old lady?” she snarls back, covering her face with her manicured hands. She sits cross-legged on a pink towel, her white leather handbag speckled with sand.
“Was it bad news?” I press, beginning to doubt my usefulness.
She shakes her head and as her hands peel away from her face, I notice tears rolling down her tanned cheeks. She looks up with sad blue eyes.
“Tell me about it,” I say.