This was written in July 2016 before moving back to Texas after living a year on the beach in Florida.
Lately, the beach has been offering many life lessons for me.
I don't actually believe the beach holds magical powers, although there is definitely an energy at the edge of the world that is unmistakably addictive. But there is something fabulously rewarding about designating some quiet time in whatever location you happen to find yourself to listen to nature.
This past year, I've been lucky enough to have lived on the east coast, eaten from her rich offerings, drank from her fountains, and immersed myself in her indulgences, so the deep waters have lent her wisdom to me in many ways.
This morning, the sun had already opened the day, the sandpipers were searching for food, and the treasures from a long night of crashing waves had washed up on the shore. It was as if they were calling me to bend down, pick them up, turn them over, study their tales of faraway travels and deep sea survival.
I'm not sure what causes the "mother load" of shells, creatures, and sea glass to wash up on some days and other days, the sand is merely dotted with gifts, but today happened to be a day with a plethora of wonders.
And as I stepped over shell upon shell and the waves rolled under my feet in rhythmic timing, I noticed that each shell embedded in the sand, tiny as it was, was leaving a huge imprint in the water as it poured back into the ocean upon its retreat.
I stopped, grabbed my phone out of my pocket, and began taking photos of this small wonder.
At first, I noticed a rather large shell, standing by itself. And as the waves rolled in over the lone shell, covering it completely, and then proceeded to gush back out to sea, that single shell was making a large triangle shaped wake of its own.
I thought about the personal implications of this. I stopped to ponder what large impact a single shell can make. And then people came to mind who do this every day.
It made me think of Monica Dunlap, who just last week made her transition to heaven, but left a huge triangle wake behind her. The thing I remember most about Monica was that she was dedicated to Loads of Love in Lubbock. And if I understand it correctly, she spent hours a week, washing clothes for people who were either homeless or too poor to be able to afford a washing machine. I can only imagine the great care she took in washing and folding clothing that belonged to strangers, and the feeling they must have gotten when they went home with clean, fluffy and Downy filled clothing and sheets.
Then, there is Maggie Guthrie, and her sweet family, who leave large trails of selflessness consistently. Not only do they have Brynne's Smiles, and constantly give back to the Ronald McDonald House, Share the Warmth, Make a Wish and countless other ways they contribute to their community all the while teaching the value of giving to their children, but they also have Koda's Kamp which allows the siblings of terminally ill children a place to go and just be kids. I know there are many ways this family gives back when no one even knows about it, but the triangle wake they are leaving behind them is felt by thousands.
There is my friend Lucretia who is just about the most selfless and giving person I know.
I met her on Craigslist. Seriously.
We met in a dark alley. Not seriously.
She bought a piece of furniture from us on Craigslist because God will use the darnedest things to bring folks together. We hit it off because she's easy to love. And when there has been a need in my life, you know the really awful ones like loading a moving truck, my Craigslist friend was there with work gloves on. She always goes beyond the call of duty. She packed my pantry. She encouraged. She probably even had boob sweat--which is the sign of a true friend. But Lucretia doesn't just bless people who are her friends. She is constantly doing things behind the scenes for random strangers. She bakes for Tech kids who live far away from their families. These aren't kids who can repay her or who have family members who have asked her to care for them. Nope, these are kids who might not have a holiday meal if it weren't for Lucretia. She somehow knows the right time to call, the right time to bring bagels and the right time leave a huge triangular wake behind her with so many acts of kindness.
I continued my beach walk, allowing the sand to squish up between my toes, and the warm water to rush around my ankles. A few steps more and I saw tiny shells, dotting the shore. And as the water flowed away from them, back to the ocean, I saw hundreds of tiny triangular wakes. Some of them overlapped each other, some of them small and others bigger. And again, I began to ponder.
We are all like those tiny shells. We each have ways that are used to bless one another. We all have small things we can do to impact others.
Whether we are a big shell today or a small shell grouped with a bunch of other small shells, what we leave behind can make a difference in our world.
*This was written in July 2016 just before moving back to Texas from living for a year on the beach in Florida.
I stalked someone today. My daughter would call me a "creeper". But I couldn't help myself.
I was returning from my morning walk on the beach, heading home to shower and to get ready for work.
And that's when I saw him.
My heart started racing and a smile came across my face as he walked, unknowingly, about twenty feet in front of me.
Now, I know what you might be thinking..."you're married" or "he looks too young for you" or "that's creepy, you cradle-robbing-adulterer-wanna-be". You would be correct on the first two accounts...I'm happily married and this guy would be too young for me.
But you see, I was attracted to what his essence represented, not what he looked like.
The Weekend. He represented The Weekend.
This was something I hadn't experienced since moving to Florida. He represented leisure time, spent doing what he wanted to do. He represented rest, relaxation, fun. I was compelled to follow him.
Donned in swimming trunks, water shoes, and sunglasses, my new infatuation headed out of his driveway with a cup of joe in one hand and pulling his kayak in the other.
I've been fortunate enough for the last year to live about six houses from the ocean to the left and six houses to the inter-coastal waterway on the right. Though aside from my morning walks, I haven't had any time to experience much of it. And this guy, with his fancy kayak in tow, was heading to the calm waters of the inter-coastal waterway, to enjoy a Saturday morning float.
I pulled out my outdated iPhone, and like any good stalker would do, I engaged the silent button. I mean, how embarrassing would it be for me AND him if he heard the click of my camera taking pics of his backside?
I snapped a photo. That should be enough to put in my blog, right? But nooooooooo. He turned the corner and I had a better angle.
Click. I take another.
And here's where is got more creepy. He turned left to go towards the water, I should have turned right to go home, but I was compelled to follow him, so I turned left as well.
Click! I take another.
I'm sure he was aware of me but had no idea that I was journaling his path. I mean, I look innocent enough. Just a chubby, middle-aged woman with boob sweat and rubbing fat thighs enjoying her morning walk.
I knew I had enough photos, but I couldn't help myself. I followed him all the way to the water.
We exchanged the usual morning greetings. We talked briefly about crabs. I mean, that's normal, right? Maybe not, but there were literally thousands of crabs where he launched his kayak. He mentioned it. I responded with "yeah, we have them in our garage at home."
He got in the water. Click. Click. Because one shot wasn't enough.
I headed home.
Stalking time had run its course.
But for a brief moment in time, I witnessed something beautiful, something that I haven't seen for myself in a while now. Something that I look forward to having again when we move back to Texas this week.
It's called a weekend. And I'm ready to experience this again!
HUMOR-IST (is that a word?) I can find and expel (the word expel makes me think of passing gas) humor in most moments of life