On Tuesday I stood again at the ocean’s edge. The surf was gentle and the sun staved off enough of winter’s chill for me to walk long. My daughter predicted it: “I know you, Mom. You can’t not go!” Forgive the double negative. 🙂
The college girl lives just a mile from my favorite place on earth, so of course I “couldn’t not go.” I delivered a duffle-laden Emma to her dorm, then drove that familiar winding road to the ocean. I wonder what it is that makes me come, why I love to walk where the sand bends beneath my feet. I have decided that this is the place where my Maker has my full attention. When I am here, I think of how vast His world is–that at the other side of these waters, another continent rises. I remember how small I am, but how infinitely loved.
When I come here, I also remember our first visit to this place. The little girls played in the tide pools, the big boy (all of five!) played bocce on the beach. We hunted for starfish and sand dollars. We stuffed our pockets with little shells and rocks tumbled smooth. We flew kites. Life was full and oh so good.
I walked with my camera. Two birds flew away. I try not to push the analogy too far, but my “girls-turned-women” are flying away too, bent on chasing their dreams. Yet there is joy in the flight, joy in the letting go even though it smarts a bit in the mama’s heart.
Before I drove away, I stood quiet and still and listened. The waves beat with a slow rhythm, reminding me to simply breathe. Then on a scrap of paper and with a scratch of my pen, I wrote my little tribute, thankful for the small moments of peace in the midst of good-bye:
Salted surf rises
and falls, brine breath composing
the song of the sea.