Thursday, August 25, 2011

to the shore

:: Cape Cod::

A place that will always be near to my heart.  A place to be lazy, enjoy family, eat slowly, think back and think forward, eat s'mores, laugh so hard, and smile at the glory.

I have come to this place essentially from birth.  My mother has come with her family since she was a toddler.  It has been a constant in life when everything else keeps changing.  Yes, the beach gets a little smaller every year, some beloved stores we find closed, or the bike to the ocean is not as long as it used to be.  But it is the same.  In high school I would sit on the beach and wonder what the next year would hold.  Now, I sit on the beach with my husband and we wonder together.

A summer pilgrimage; an August ritual.  It is part of the rhythm of our family life that signals the end of one year and the beginning of another.  I guess it is this way because we have all been in school for so many years, but I've always thought fall is a better new beginning than mid-winter.  Some years, we are preparing to send a sibling off to high school, or college, or Africa as the case may be.  Some years we are preparing ourselves for those transitions, or for smaller ones ... like moving to a new apartment.

We used to all be there (all 6 kids and at least 1 parent) for 2 weeks with cousins, grandparents, and friends from other cottages.  Now, many of us are there for 1 week or even less.  Still, for the days we can, we drop everything else and conform our days to the pattern of the ocean.  When is low tide?  When is high tide?  What is the weather?  These are the most important questions of the day.  There is a good time for bike rides, a good time for beach reading, a good time for playful swimming, and a good time to simply float - time for long conversations and time for silence.

Our brief stay there for the year has already passed, but I will remember and anticipate the year to come.  In the middle of the winter, I might still be able to cling to the sun, the sand, and the sound of waves.  And, if God wills, I know we will return to pause and celebrate together again.

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