Beach Music

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
BEACH 300x240

We drive 530 miles to say goodbye to summer.

Though the heat lingers, morning light comes later each day—reminding us of this revolution we are on…the way time tilts us forward. My family and I try to freeze the last moments of summer by traveling to the edge of the world. We leave our everyday behind and holiday at the seashore.

I feel time slow while we are here, but it never stops the onward march. Vacation is a deep inhalation in the respiration of life. I let my lungs expand, feel my diaphragm lift tall.

The days are filled with the scent of sunscreen and a kaleidoscope of blues and deep greens. We jump waves until our legs are unsteady. We build sandcastles and collect sea shells. We manage to still time in photographs and video…but the moments that remain most vivid are the ones impressed upon our hearts.

We are making memories.

The days are full but the mornings…the mornings are mine.

I leave my boys sleeping, set feet on cool sand, and walk.

The beach is lonely before sunrise. A thick haze settles low over the water. If I try I can step up on it and climb into this sky-city. The clouds hug the horizon--flimsy skyscrapers inviting visit. I just stare. And then the sun. It peeks red glare above these benign sentinels that cling to fire with wispy fingers. They can’t hold her and she lifts herself up, letting bits of her cascade into water-- falling over miles and miles of this glassy road until she comes to me…kisses my waiting toes.

I never grow tired of watching the sun rise over the ocean. This place—the edge of my world—here the earth feels the pull of the heavens strong. And this is where I feel God’s pull best--where I slow enough to hear his voice inside of me, taste his breath in salt-tinged wind. I sing prayers out over the ocean and let them roll out with the tide—curling under with the weight of the water and lifting to the sky in the spray. I write love notes to God in the smooth sand with my shell-pen and watch as his water hands pull them to him—erasing the words but not their meaning.

I walk along the tidal pool, eyes blind to what my toes can see. My feet sink deep in the loose sand as the earth is pulled out from under me. A wave climbs the shore, passes over a bed of shells, and I am paused by the tinkling music. I sit and listen a while. I watch the shells and sea stones jostle about as they play their individual notes. These shells are bits of brokenness—pounded by the sea. An intact shell is a treasure here where the surf is infamous for being rough. But these tiny pieces with rounded edges look like treasure to me. They glisten in the morning sun and I sink my hands into their smooth cool. There are infinite colors—purple, blue-gray, blues, black and white, sandy-striped, pearly white…I study their intricate patterns. The snail curls are my favorites. Something about the way of the spiral makes me feel whole…unwound. I trace my finger on the striations. I wonder—what kind of creature lived here once? How did this animal die? Did he live a long life in this sea? Or meet a tragic end?

I pick a few beauties and tuck them in my pocket. They curl into each other—spooning shells.

The sun climbs higher and I know I must get back. We will be on the beach in full regalia by seven-thirty a.m. There is no stopping two boys with boogie boards. One last long look at sun tickling water and I turn my back to go.

I will return soon with company.

We say goodbye to summer. In the crash of waves and kiss of sun we freeze moments in time. When we return home, a new school year begins. It’s back to business.

But I will not forget these moments of beach music. I have my shells to remind me. And something else. Something deeper I carry in my heart.

Every moment is holy.

How about you? Have you tried to freeze time? How do you say goodbye to summer? We’d love to hear about your special summer moments. Drop your link in the comment box to share and we’ll say hello to a new season together.

Photo by Kelly Langner Sauer, used with permission. Post by Laura Boggess.