You have given me each grain of sand. Every shell and each wave are Your treasures. The sunsets You cascade down the stretch of sand, and across the horizon, are Your foreshadowing masterpieces; Giving us a glimpse of Your kingdom. For all Your mercy, all Your faith, to You Lord I will serve.
Oh, I would be the one to answer, “yes!” to any adventurous endeavor that would be bestowed upon us. You would be the one to sit back and let the decision settle, before committing to anything.
Each boat in this marina is accompanied with an anchor and sails. A strong hard-headed anchor at that. And a free-spirited sail that is every bit of hard-headed as the anchor, if not more if she were completely honest.
As we make our way down the sun-beaten path to our powerful floating vessel, I cant help but think how much we are like the anchor and sail that inhabit our boat. The sails would let the wind direct them in any which way, but the anchor, the stubborn hard-headed anchor, gives the sails a chance to sit back and enjoy the ride instead of flying through the journey. Sometimes, just sometimes the sails can drag the anchor little, by little, in excitement of a new adventure.
Although, we always agree on where the boat should end up, we usually don’t agree on how it should get there. But I guess that is all apart of the trip. To see who can instill the stubbornness in the other.
As we travel and sail, different opinions are discussed on the salty water. There may be a flutter in the sail and my heart and there maybe some apprehension in the anchor and your plan, but there is always a balance. A different, opinionated balance I wouldn’t trade for all the oceans.
Growing up I could look out of every window in my tiny home and see corn, hay, and soybeans growing. Cow pastures would pop up in between the mix and the only bodies of water were the local lakes and creeks. I was, and still am, proud of where I came from. It was a working man’s country, small, but big in pride. And I shared that pride with my entire community. I was happy to be apart of old Small Town, U.S.A.
Now, as an adult, I look back on those memories fondly, still inhabiting the same proud smile on my face. At this point in my life, I can now look out of every window in my home and see the ocean. My grass has now become sand and my local lakes and creeks have turned into sea, sound, and estuaries.
Every morning, as I stroll the water’s edge, I am rewarded with simple treasures of seashells and sea glass. Such little gestures that fill almost every empty bottle and mason jar in my home. With each step I keep my gaze on the horizon, anticipating the arrival of the sun. The dark colors of night have faded as the morning colors have began to swirl, creating God’s masterpiece. Just as the hues begin to brighten and deepen, the sun makes it’s way gradually over the seal the sky and ocean have created.
All in one breathtaking moment, the sun has made an entrance, cascading light across the white sand. I’m drawn to the sight before me and although, I would love to stay where the water meets the shore, I am needed back at my home to prepare for work. I may not travel from my home for my career, but I do have to make it a point to stay out of my backyard until my work is finished.
After I think I can’t stand one more minute of my day, I am surprised with the fact that my day is actually over. My afternoon plays out similarly to my morning. I walk where the edge of land meets the edge of water. I collect glass and shells just as I did 8 hours ago. Even though my routine is the same day in and day out, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I wouldn’t trade my backyard for all the riches in the world.
We run to this place. Our mini-vans and suvs packed to the gills with every essential we could possibly fathom. We are tired, our kids are on our very last nerve, and we question if we even should have taken on this 12 hour drive or even the whole vacation in the first place. But then in one magical, second-wind moment, we get a wiff of the salt air through the vents. A rejuvenation encases the whole cab and peace descends, enveloping the madness and tossing it out the sun roof.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, our vehicles come to a stop and we are officially on vacation. After scrambling everything out of the car quick-fast-and-in-a-hurry, a beeline is made to the waves. A few stumbles up the dune and we can see the water. As the beach chairs unfold and the towels unravel, the koozies wrap the adult beverages and finally life is at peace.
So, now bring on vacation. Bring on the lazy days, the days with out bills, and the days without an alarm clock. One sip of the bottomless drink and a sigh of relief escapes into the tradewinds.
She’s finally over. The publicized hurricane-of-the-century, left as fast as she came in. There is damage. There is flooding. There is less beach than before. This isn’t new to any of us. We have gone through much worse and much less worse, but now is the time to go out and see the damage. She may have tried to knock our archipelago off the map, but here we all stand, together.
Making my way to the now even smaller strip of sand, the shells and numerous marine animals lied where they had been thrown from the ocean. I peak my head over the many sea creatures, hoping for a stir. If so, I work my quickest to get them back to their salty home. As I swiftly move and gently replace the marine life, other native beach-goers are also participating in the valiant effort to return them home.
A sense of relief overcomes us all as we know they are all back where they belong. I look out towards the next island in our clan. I can see the storm has sunk in her claws. I raise my hand to my brothers across water, sending my prayers their way. Although, we have a lot of work ahead of us, we are ready. And just before we turn are backs to head home, God lays out a beautiful rainbow, with vibrant hues, sending his promise to every islander.
They quietly tiptoed past the sleeping homes along the street. With each step they were closer to the beach and further from the shared vacation home. Both giggled as they made their way over the tall dune, anticipating the sand and waves. Nostalgia swept over, reminding them of their high school-sweetheart past and how they would sneak out late at night and not come back until well after morning.
Nighttime still swept over the beach, but the roar of the ocean was just as prominent in the dark as it was in daylight. A makeshift bed, composed of an old blanket and extra flannel shirts for pillows, gave them the perfect spot to enjoy the stars. On their backs they pointed out the constellations they could remember and giggled at the ones they would make up. With each passing minute they re-fell in love with one another as if it were their first date all over again. Here they were almost twenty years later and still they made it a point to act like kids, just to keep the fire going.
While the stars burned and the crabs scurried through the sand, they lay there enjoying one another’s embrace, hoping this moment wouldn’t end. They talked and laughed well into the morning, until they knew they should go back before everyone wondered where they were, or had been. The sun began to take over his shift, shooing the moon and stars, and reminding them of the time they planned on going back. Instead, they stayed where they were watching the sun bust through the horizon, causing a cascade of colors to sweep across the sky. How could they leave when everything was so perfect?
Desire to beat the odds coursed through her veins. She wanted to defeat the naysayers and all the garbage they threw from their mouths. She is strong, independent, someone everyone should aspire to be like. Push the odds, embrace the fall, and rise with a keen edge, was her game plan.
She came to this place because it fueled her, gave her strength. She wanted to mimic the sea. A natural beauty that was intriguing and dangerous all at once. She wanted to be a sanctuary for people, but stand entirely on her own, just as this salty body of water. She wanted everyone to witness all of her power in an awe-inspiring way. She knew she was destined for great things. And although the battle may be hard, she would fight back harder. Like the sea, she consumed the negativity and relinquished it when she felt to do so.
The God-given strength the ocean possesses seems to rub off onto her as she struts the shore’s edge. As she gazes out onto the horizon, she knows in that moment no one can define her but God, herself, and the sea.
The waves rolled and crashed along the shore. The sun peeked up from the horizon, causing the island to stir. The sunlight slowly cascaded and stretched across the white sand, giving an iridescent appeal. Shells scattered along the sand became visible, while small crabs started back for home, not wanting to be seen. The first sunrise while on vacation at the coast, was something that could only be cherished. In this exact moment, this place and point in time, was where all of life’s troubles were thrown to the tradewinds; Content washes over and bliss settles its way in. God himself painted this masterpiece bringing contentment and satisfaction to those who were lost in the rat-race. God’s simple act of nature moves so many with a strong, yet subtle impact.
Rain slinked down the pane of glass, memorizing her attention. Lost in the tantalizing drops, she dreamed of what life along the Atlantic Coast would be like some far off day. With her eyes shut she reveled in the sunlight as her hair was thrown every which way from the salty air. Waves caused the hair on her bronzed arms to stand erect with the rhythmic melody they had created. A sense of content washed over her, bringing to her attention that she was finally where her soul could call home.
A place that made the storm inside finally calm, bringing tranquility with it. gazing she could see the lighthouse beckon to the boats off the shore, calling them home, just as it did for her. in her beautiful daydream she had finally made it to somewhere in the sun. Her eyes cracked open only to find the rain still falling. A smile broke on her face as a a result from knowing at heart she would eventually come to the place of peace, to forever reside in her salty daydream.
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.