February 01, 2013

footprints in the sand

I walked down the beach, my sights set on the rocky outcropping half-mile ahead. I carried my Chacos in my left hand, because I would need them on the rocks, but for now I wanted to feel the seashells crushing beneath my feet.

Ouch! That was a tiny, spiny seashell. One of its spines stuck deep in the tender part of my foot. I tugged and tugged until it came out, watching the thin stream of blood mixing with the saltwater. Even this little injury made me smile, because I was on the beach, surrounded by islands and foam and weather-beaten palms. The bleeding only meant that I was really there, alive, along with all the rest of it.

Daniel kayaking Bright and Zion out to an island filled with monkeys.

I strapped on my Chacos and continued on down the beach. In my right hand, I carried a long fishing pole, and a small, purple cooler filled with crisp, cold shrimp. My ripped jean shorts were soaked to the skin, as was my thin, cotton long-sleeve shirt with little flowers all over it. I was wet because before I saw the outcropping, I stood in the crashing waves, casting out to sea toward the ancient, brightly-colored fishing boats that knocked about between the islands.

Just before I walked away from them, Daniel had said, on behalf of him and the kids, "Have fun out there! Take your time." I love my husband.

As I walked, I looked behind me, at the footprints I was making in the sand. The waves were sweeping them away as fast as I made them, lapping them up with their foamy tongues. I thought about our lives, and how we, like footprints in the sand, are there, and then we're gone. The sand is washed and dried and left exposed, ready for new prints from the feet of new walkers. It made me glad that I was fishing that morning, glad that I am tackling that novel I've been wanting to write, glad that I am mothering, and loving, and serving, and praying, as I walk this walk I'm on.