I love taking beach pictures. Even though I have quite the collection, I cherish every one.
The ocean takes on different hues, the clouds or no clouds tell a different story. Sandy kids’ feet and shells, castles in various stages of the building process and the odd find of driftwood or a trinket lying half buried catch my eye.
But today I saw the most beautiful picture I never took.
Walking hand in tanned hand, they came down the beach around mid-day; weaving in and out of buckets, shovels, life jackets strewn about and kids literally body boarding up right in front of them.
She laughed with the most incredible smile and sparkling eyes peeping out from under her ball cap and motioned to one of our own who had just rode a wave right in front of her and her sweetie.
Her companion nodded his silver gray head and smiled big too.
Peaceful, serene, enjoying ever salty-aired moment, they strolled along as if they had all the time in the world ahead of them.
I stood motionless as I watched them walk on past making their way down the sand.
There was a short gray pony tail sticking out the back of her hat and I know from observing and being observed on age these days, they were maybe ten to fifteen years farther along than Russ and me.
I wanted to run after them and tell them how they made my day.
I wanted to ask if they had been together forever or just found each other later in life.
But it doesn’t really matter.
The moment in time that was playing out in front of me in the midst of all the noise of music and waves crashing and kids chattering and parents warning them to be careful captured what we all went in our relationships.
Overtime after the fourth quarter.
I prayed a short prayer asking God if it be okay with His plans if I could be doing that same thing a long down the road of this journey with the one He gave me forty years ago.
I watched them until they turned away from the surf a little ways down from us to join a bunch of people of all ages gathered on chairs and towels, around coolers and umbrellas and more laughter.
Obviously the generations they had raised and then watched be raised were having a vacation at the beach.
Later I walked down just to see if I could get one more glimpse of them and she was standing in her pink cover up, laughing into the eyes of an older teen boy as she sprayed him good with sunscreen. He turned obediently and raised his arms and there was that smile again.
I cried there and I am crying here.
A glimpse into the future perhaps for me?
I thought of all the wonderful people I have known who for whatever reason don’t or won’t have that and yet wanted it.
I prayed again.
This time for God’s love and comfort to fill the empty and hurting places in hearts.
I prayed for me and for Russ and if this is not how our story goes.
And I thanked God for her. I don’t know her but I was so blessed to see her joy that it was almost as if it was mine.
Last week we talked about peace and how one antonym for it is “lack”.
We know that in all things God works for our good and His glory, but sometimes it is hard to see.
I don’t know what the years will bring to Russ and me but as I walked away I thanked God for today and decided I am going to make a point of holding his hand as often as I can, while I can, wherever I can and especially at least one time on this vacation <3