The pastel-colored beach chair settles into the dune and slowly finds its balance. I place my purple water bottle into the holder on the arm and lower myself onto the striped cloth.
Slowly my eyes scan the dunes. Except for tall grasses behind me, we are alone.
We, Ed and me. He and his chair have performed the same dune dance. His chair is of primary colors, his bottle is blue.
We hadn’t packed for a beach day but I grabbed my old blue crocs before we left our bed and breakfast after Mass that morning. I slip my feet out of the crocs and flatten the soles onto the beige medium grade sand. Its hotness massages my feet as I wiggle them deep into its presence.
I gaze on the horizon. Between it and me are millions of tiny, dazzling, ripples in horizontal layers of crystal clear greens and turquoises. Above the line, baby blue with sporadic wisps of floating white.
Leaning my head back, I close my eyes to shield them from the intense white light of mid-afternoon on a clear day. I hear gentle, rhythmic water lapping. This is a Great Lake. There are no crashing breakers. When one of its tiny waves reaches shore, its break is noticeable but far from deafening. And the rhythm instantly returns.
My hands are the first part of me to make note of the sun’s warmth. They are drooping at the ends of the chair’s arms. I feel my fingers release tension of many months. The heat moves up my arms and onto my face to the top of my head. I am enveloped in warmth that feels yellow. It holds me and keeps me still. My breath is steady and even. I’ve missed that.
Thoughts that want to invade my mind slip by as the lapping of crystal water soothes me into a thoughtless reverie.
The voice that is not a voice says, “I’ve been waiting. I knew you’d be back. I knew you would find your way back to you. Here I am, with you as always – comforting, holding, guiding, caring, loving.”
A smile begins to emerge from the inside of me until it bursts forth on my face. I open my eyes to two sailboats with tall white masts gliding peacefully along the horizon.
The dividing line.
It is my gift.
And it is our gift – mine and Ed’s.
I will return to the dividing line each time I sense the churning of hurricane-produced waves rushing into my life. Because this is where I will always find me. And You.