There is a beach in town that allows dogs after 5 p.m. We took a ride over before supper tonight. Molly bounded toward the water, thrilled, because it has been at least a year since we visited there, and I’m not even sure we went last summer.
Judging by Sam’s puzzlement, it may well have been two years. He danced along the shore, sniffing at the gentle little waves coming to ground. We wished for the camera, doubting he’ll ever react quite that way again.
I enjoyed the expansive view of the bay and the islands not far off in the distance. The sun retreated from our Eastern location, while clouds of hues both white and grey decorated the late afternoon sky.
Meanwhile, assorted retrievers enjoyed themselves, bringing back sticks and balls over and over again. Molly worked the crowd, taking a seat next to various beach-sitters and giving them a look-see as potential new homes. In the end, no one had the treats in my pocket except me, so she came home with us.
When the time came, 20 years ago, to look for a place to live after The Father of My Children finished law school, I agreed to consider New England, but I preferred to be on the coast. My childhood included regular summer visits to the ocean, and although I am not a sun worshiper, I said, "I just like to know it’s there."
One of my most powerful experiences of God took place on a beach, and a dream set during a storm on a beach convinced me to return to seminary. My children’s experience of the beach has been on day trips, and as my life has become busier, fewer of those. I hope I can reverse that before it is too late. I well remember the feeling of sleeping with the ocean just a little way off over the dunes, the smell of the air and the sand between my toes.
Pure Luck grew up on the coast of Maine and now prefers the woods and lakes. When we go anywhere, we head in that direction. I don’t mind those places; they are certainly beautiful. But my life has been full of going where it suits other people. Maybe this summer I can make my own way to the place that feel so wide open and elemental, so positively divine.