Your curls, windblown and salt-kissed, hung heavy across your neck. Your cheek tasted of the sea when I kissed it. Tip-toed you walked on the sand. “She doesn’t like the feel of sand on her feet, does she?” another beach-goer noticed. No, I guess you didn’t… at least not at first. But by the end of the morning, you were scampering barefoot across the shoreline, chasing gulls and stopping to pet dogs and waving hi and blowing kisses to anyone who looked your way. And you were eating the sand… I understand wanting to try it once. I don’t understand going back for more.
You also didn’t like the waves at first. Clinging to your Daddy’s hands, you watched wide-eyed as the water washed first over your toes and then all the way to your waist… leaving behind a trail of seaweed and starfish in its wake. We weren’t watching closely enough at first… when you were brave enough to let go of our hands, we didn’t calculate that the wave coming in combined with the wave going out would cause the sand to shift under your feet, sending you onto your back in that salty, salty sea. I’m sorry, sweet girl, that you first tasted the ocean as it knocked you off your feet. But though you were a little timid, we went right back into the surf again and it didn’t take long for the uncertainty to change to bravery. Then you were charging head-first towards the open ocean… us chasing because we knew your courage eclipsed your wisdom. I love that about you.
You may not know this yet, or maybe you do… but sometimes we have memories that forever stay with us. Simple, everyday moments seared into our mind’s eye so that at any moment we can remember the sounds, smells, colors, and moments of the everyday holy. To be honest, I haven’t known I was making them most of the time. But I’m trying to be more aware. More awake.
And so I know I made one of those kind of memories this weekend… blonde ringlets bouncing as you ran away from me to the sea. Arms out, embracing all the beauty and wonder of this moment in life, your laughter came back to me with the wind. The way you run… indescribable, really, yet somehow full of frolicking joy, tiny toes leaving tiny imprints in the wet sand, washed away a moment later by the next wave. God help me treasure these moments… gone as quickly as the tides shift and the waves erase the day’s sand castles.
This life is so short. So precious. So beautiful it leaves me breathless.