Their Time

She gently woke to the late August, pre-autumn ocean breeze cascading into the room. The ceiling to floor curtains fluttered from the gentle motion of the crisp air. The sunlight poured through the panes of glass and danced along the sheets of the bed. As her sleepy eyes begin to focus, she noticed a coffee cup and a handmade card paired together on her nightstand.

Stretching, with a  yawn,she retrieved the card and it read: Meet me on the deck, beautiful.

She gracefully made her way from the warm covers, with her fresh coffee in hand, out onto the deck where she was surprised with a table made for breakfast for two. A smile stretched across her face. Before she knew it he had quietly come up behind her, wrapping his free arm tightly around her waist, while the other carried a tray of food. After setting down the heaping mountain of breakfast, he lead her to the table and graciously held out and pushed her chair in.

They smiled and laughed the whole way through the wonderful breakfast, simply enjoying one another. As the plates cleared and the daily, vacation morning rituals commenced, they were finally ready to make their way down to the beach. With an over-sized trio of a cooler, an umbrella, and a blanket, they were set for an entire day at the beach.

He smiled and gawked at her natural beauty and she couldn’t get enough of him as they made their way to the white sand. As the peak of the dune came under their feet, the breeze, from the surging ocean below, blew away the little beads that collected at each forehead. Blissful hours were spent searching for the perfect shells, catching waves and rays,  and simply taking in all God has bestowed on this wondrous place.

Even though the sun hung high in the sky, they made their way back to the sandy cottage to get ready for their anniversary photo shoot. The sun did them both some good, giving a natural glowing appearance. After almost a decade of being together, they figured their high-school-sweetheart romance should finally be documented with professional photos.

Smiles, laughter, and natural photogenic poses came easy to both; They made it seem easy for one another. The sun had began to set, allowing the perfect blend of hues to come together, creating a breathtaking scenery. He spun her and she kissed him with a heel popped to the sky. He slightly dipped her in the salty water and she obliged by kicking the water to the sky. Everything was going as planned and they couldn’t have produced better pictures even if they had tried.

They came together with hands clasped and lips locked, but as they came apart he accidentally slipped the promise ring, he had given her when they were sixteen, from her finger and into the unforgiving sand. She scrambled to the sand carefully sifting through, hoping one of her most prized possessions wasn’t gone forever. She was too busy to notice that he had stopped searching for the ring. He instead knelt patiently on one knee, waiting for her finally realize what he had in mind.

When she finally had the gumption to turn and look to him to see if he had any better luck, she brought her hand to her mouth in shocked amazement of his current stance.  As the question, she had been waiting to hear since they were fourteen, came out of his smiling mouth, she couldn’t help but scream her acceptance. She jumped into his strong arms and he spun her round and around. After he brought her back down to the sand, he placed the intricate ring on her finger. He also put her worrying at ease and put her promise ring, he had hid, onto her right ring finger. Her new prized possession revealed a rose gold band and a peach hued stone that was proudly placed on her appropriate finger; she couldn’t believe that this day had finally come.

Just as the sun began to sink into the salty water, they brought their lips together, reveling in the most perfect moment they could have ever imagined.

 

A Way to Get Away

Tyranny and chaos heavily hung in the air. Strong-hearted and hard-headed opinions shattered all hope. Darkness swept through, destroying everything in its path. Each blow inflicted, lit the fire more and more, and as the embers roared, so did she. Finally, she couldn’t take a single moment of it any longer and in an instant she was off.

She simply went away. As far and as fast as she could. Life wasn’t going to get the best of her any longer. Now, as the tide rolls and the breeze blows, she can’t remember what her worry was about. All the chaos that ravaged her life, was now thrown into the salty breeze to be taken to some far off shore.

Sunlight danced along the tops of the waves as she stared aimlessly into the horizon. This place brought her to a world where worries didn’t matter, being in the moment, this moment, was the only thing that mattered.

So much natural beauty encased this enchanted beach. The sun rose and fell here at God’s command. The palms swayed rhythmically, and shaded all who needed. Tropical birds harmonized with the roaring ocean, cascading a peaceful, tranquil aura.

Opinions, craziness, political views didn’t matter here. This was a place to get away. Her way to get away.

Palm and Ocean.

I have sat here so many times before. I yearn to sit in the sand under his slouch and prudent stance. This palm, he knows more about me than I even know myself. He has seen more of me than I even knew was there. I can’t help but feel the need to sit in the sand under his swaying protection. I can remember each time I’ve shared with him. He has been my confidant and a place to sit and stare out at my constant. I revel in the moments where I enjoy his company and am able to feel the warm sand cascade over my legs as I carefully spill the grains from my pruned hands.

He and the ocean go hand in hand. Throughout all my emotional states, they are there through thick and thin. In uncommon phases, the ocean, she offers a place for me to exert my bottled energy and the palm, he offers me a place of healing solitude. Even in my wildest storms, she will allow me to tear myself up and he will give me a place to calm down. In most of my phases, she bestows me with the strength that God has given her. And he gives me a grounded God-fearing purpose. 

As I continue to sit with my head resting on his trunk and my eyes fixated on her iridescent, pulsating waves I can only feel as if I am at the closest place to Heaven. I am at the place  where God wants me to be.

Seashell Mornings

  Every crisp morning I race over the dunes to catch the first glimpse of light across the white sand. In the nick-of-time, I make it to the peak just as the light begins to cascade over the beach. I am always welcomed with the tradewinds; lightly twirling my hair in a dancing motion. Standing motionless, mesmerized by God’s subtle beauties plastered across the beach, I can only seem to feel calm and as if all of life’s troubles slip into the salty breeze. 

   My joints begin to break the frozen, simplicity of my enjoyment, to send me on my reasoning for coming down here this early in the first place. Not even two steps into my stroll to the waters edge, I spy my first treasure of the day. A small, ebony shell peeks up from the sand and as I bend down to retrieve this small trinket, my eye catches another one and another one. As I continue to bend, never standing fully erect as I move, more and more shells come into sight. Finally I have made my way to where the waves kiss the shore. The weight in my old, rusty bucket pulls slightly on my arm, causing my mouth to turn up in sweet satisfaction. 

    Every day I search and search for more shells to collect. And my goal for each day is to make it to the pier before my bucket overflows. In a fortunate win-lose situation, my bucket is full before I make it to the bony structure coming out of the ocean. Regardless, I make my way under the pier to examine each and every shell I scooped up for the day.

    The sand under the pier is usually untouched at this time of day, making me feel as if this beach is mine and mine only. I spill my bucket over in childlike excitement, proudly reveling in the amount I have obtained. Each shell is different than the rest. Some may look the same but at further inspection each one has its own quirks. All are tumbled smooth from the pounding waves, but each one shows a different aspect of their endeavors. Although, they may have started out more rough and jagged, their journey to the shore left them smooth and soft. Finally when my inspections come to an end, I thank the Lord for the ability to enjoy the simplistic blessing the ocean and beach have to offer. 

The Only Way of Life

There is a place that God himself created for the laid back and the worn down. Whether it is along the coasts, on the islands, or even in the secluded lagoons, there is a place where only a special type of person can enjoy life to its fullest potentials. These places carry with it a little magic that gives its permanent and temporary inhabitants a sense of fulfillment with the world. Most people can never experience the wonders that this lifestyle carries with it, and to those I raise my glass in hopes that one day, while in the clouds, they’ll be able to experience these wonders they missed while on Earth.

A perfect explanation to this lifestyle cannot be relayed by message, only wondrously experienced, making these places so much more exhilarating and organic. Whenever I’m asked as to why I obsess over something such as a salty body of water, I can only describe it with a smile; it’s my way of life, the only way of life.

The Hunt

The crisp air stung my face as I walked along the well-used path. The moon was starting to give way to the sun, letting it take its shift. I mimicked a stealth agent as I walked across the rustling leaves, dodging the fallen branches, careful not to disturb anything. Finally arriving at the tall maple I began to ascend the ladder to my hidden blind. The sun finally gave way through the clouds touching the hills of the open meadow. An hour passed with anticipation getting the best of me, then the rustling of leaves and the grunting of my prey awoke the natural born predator inside me. As quickly as the noise came it had stopped. I frantically looked around knowing it was the monster I have been tracking all season. My eyes suddenly shot to the edge of the woods as the branches of a low lying tree snapped off.

In the meadow a mature doe stood breathing heavy and fast obviously worn down from the escape she made from the rut. I knew when her ears perked he was close. In the distance the view of ivory antlers came into sight, igniting my senses. He was finally into view, prancing broadside in my bow’s sights. His massive body matched his twenty-point rack. This particular rut-stricken buck has come into my trail cam’s memory for two years only to disappear like a ghost during the season.

Every hair on my body stood erect as the adrenaline coursed throughout my veins. My breathing became labored as I waited for the right chance to release my razor edged arrow. I allowed him to let out one last breath that vaporized in the crisp autumn air. A single bead of sweat escaped my pore to run down the edge of my tautly clenched jaw. I let my fingers relax from my waxed string, releasing the arrow to cut through the air. With one blink he jumped kicking the air as the blood escaped from the exit wound. With that, I knew death had taken over his body. With one last sprint he tried to run from his fate, but alas the blood loss got the best of him and he lied down in a stumble. A rush of victory overcame me as I knew I ended the King’s reign. When death had settled him I ran to his side to look at the trophy I had just claimed. Two years of hard work and perseverance had shown in the deer, making me, a woman, to harvest one of the largest bucks in the entire state.

The Sandy Wedding

Tears of joy sparkled in her mother’s eyes. It was almost time to open a new chapter of her life with the man she loved by her side. Beginning as a small spark, their love for one another kindled into a burning fire. Today was the day they took each other hand in hand vowing their lives to one another. She was dressed in a lace embellished gown that stopped itself short above her tanned knees. Jeweled barefoot sandals were the only thing that outlined her feet. In her sun kissed curls hung a small blue beret that held up a cascading veil, which lied itself around her broad feminine shoulders and continued to the small of her back. With just the right intricacies, the hand sewn veil let her elegant simplicity shine through.

She stood in front of the open window, letting the salty air sweep over her. She turned gazing at herself in the mirror, she could see a strong beautiful young woman staring back. The bountiful sunlight that streamed through the curtains gave her features an almost iridescent appeal. Lost in a wonderful daydream she almost didn’t hear her mother telling her it was time. The sun began to set turning the sky all sort of crimsons and oranges with a touch of peach hues. Stepping outside, anticipation came over her body, making her want to sprint to the alter. When the alter came into sight her ocean blue eyes met with his golden-green, hazel eyes. She could see, even from afar, the genuine love that he had for her. He let the sight of her wash over him like a summer rain. He had never seen her so beautiful in all of their years together. After what had seemed like a life time for the both of them, she made it to the shell encrusted alter with grace and poise. They happily announced their, “I do’s,” and let their lips come together in a celebratory manner. They pulled away from one another and let vibrant smiles come across their faces. .

Boats

Blissfully she sat at the edge of the bow letting the sun’s rays penetrate her skin. She reveled in the warmth moving her head from side to side making sure it  hit every inch. Her well tanned skin and the Atlantic sun have agreed on terms since they have come in contact for a few years now. Although sometimes the sun will break contract letting the sting of summer settle just at the top of her round cheeks and accenting the crest of her nose. Stinging cheeks and a tourist-like nose didn’t put a damper to her gentle rocking as the waves contacted the porcelain like sides of the boat. They were always trying their hardest to reach the hand-painted words that read, “The Salt Life Writer.”

Reminiscing on the day she proudly painted those words, she couldn’t help but crack a vibrant smile. So much success beamed from the simplicity of those four words.  She began to believe that her sea legs have become a permanent asset to her body. She embraced the past years as many seconds, minutes, hours, and days seemed to fly by right in front of her ocean blue eyes while residing on this vessel. Memories of competitive fishing among friends, many island drinks sloshed here and there on well used deck, and even the more professional use of the office space that accompanied a hammock for a desk-chair and a typewriter for the equipment, ran through her mind causing a whirlwind of simplistic happiness to overcome her body.

An investment some people called it, she referred to it as a way of life. Well-needed naps, cleansing, healing moments that soothed the soul, moments filled with laughter and love among friends and family, and the bringing together of man and sea were embedded into the core of this boat. This boat acted as if its genetic makeup wouldn’t allow for anything else but blissful simplicity and some salty tears to be shed. Blessed was a word she used often when boasting about her floating vessel. Life on a boat was something to be cherished and hopefully never forgotten.

Storm

      ​Just as the ocean, she waited until the right time to break down and unleash the storm within. She tried her hardest to time her emotional cleansing with the occasional coastal storm the ocean would let free. As the dark and calm began to set in the overcast, she could feel the hurricane in her soul begin to spin. Wind howls at the anticipation and the rain falls to the earth slow at first, then gaining speed and force. With each strike of lightening her heart pulsates harder and harder. The thunder courses through her body, making everything she has bottled up, break and burst through the barricade she has built. The storm has now reached full rage both inside and out. 

    Tears spill over the rims of her reddened eyelids as the rain batters the window panes. She let the noise of the storm encase her as she stepped out the door into the battlefield. The ocean roars as she sprints to the waters’ edge. On the crest of the dune she gazes into the heart of the havoc seeing rage in all of its glory. 

     Just as soon as the storm had come it quickly had stopped. It let whatever else it had left fall in small drops kissing her skin as she made her way to the sand. Her tears began to stop as the rain let up. With the storm, it brought a whole new world. Letting herself break down and become new again mimicked the effects the storm had on the coast. She never let herself fall to the trials and tribulations that were thrown at her, but when she finally did, she experienced it in the most tantalizing way possible, creating a better impact. She smiled as a beautiful array of colors, composed as a rainbow, stretched itself across the blue sky.

Once Was.

        On the edge of the worn dock she let her toes glide along the glass-like water causing it to swirl and dance under her touch. Quietly she let the printed five digit number stare back at her. With a flip of her hair, she scoffed at the outrageous amount of money that preceded her name. A mere week before she would have let tears shed at the sight of this account, but now she smiles in ridicule of the big name bank. She stumbled upon the chance of a life time while visiting the beautiful Outer Banks.

       An agent who once had slicked hair and a dapper wardrobe, resided in the quiet area where she came to relax and recharge. He was a man of great power at one time, power that masked something of a benevolent weasel. For awhile he was content with his slimy uprising in the book market. He hid his disgust for himself with the piles of money he squandered from aspiring writers. One day he woke with his guilt gnawing at his conscience, finally breaking through the nasty exterior to a softer side that was lined with honesty. His overwhelming internal  up-rise caused him to up and run to the Atlantic coast to uproot the man he has buried deep inside.

      He walked the waters edge every morning to revel in the simplicity of the calming ocean waves. He never seemed to notice the tourists who have unfortunately felt the sun’s wrath, but today one caught his eye. She was young, early twenties, with sunkissed hair and a bronze tone all over her skin. Sitting in the sand, she pounded the keys of a keyboard that preceded her about three decades. Aged and rusted here and there, the typewriter methodically printed what came from the kaleidoscope of colors in her mind. Curiosity pushed him to her side.

       They spoke casually about the work she had just ground out. Politely he inquired to see the masterpiece she had created. Even with his past, he had an eye for good writing. What his eyes came across now was something of pure excellence. With continued conversation he offered her a deal.

     He knew he wanted to get back into the world of writing, but in a way that is accepted by society’s standards. She knew she wanted to get into the same world but she lacked the inside know how that he possessed. With her God given talent and his connections they  could make each other’s aspirations a reality.

      So now on the worn dock, some short months after their meeting, she was proudly able to let New York Times Best-selling Author embellish her now impressive resume. She let the salt air sweep through her hair causing it to tickle the edges of her sun kissed face. Reminiscing on what her life was before she began to remember how her life once was.