Goodness, I love the beach! I saw this photo of Kim Lance’s and it took me right back to my childhood.
My family used to go to the beach once a year, and for me, it was almost better than Christmas. We had all these traditions that went along with our beach trip: same general area of the beach, same types of beach towels and sand buckets/shovels.
We took the same kind of food, and went to the same ice cream place. We had the same routine each day: up early, ate breakfast, played on the beach, ate lunch, took a nap, played on the beach, ate dinner, and collapsed. It was so great!
The best part of the whole thing was seeing my dad relax. When I was young, my dad was a high-powered, driven, chemical engineer. He worked a lot. He had to take several business trips over the years. But when he was at the beach, he was a different person.
Dad played with us. He didn’t work on anything. He laughed more, and it was wonderful to see him smile so much.
When I grew up, I often wondered why life couldn’t have been more like that all the time. Not that it was bad. It was just not that relaxed. Sometimes I long for those days. There have been many times when I’ve said, “I want to go to the beach, but I want to go when I was a kid.”
I know we usually remember the good when looking back, but honestly, it really was that good. Sure, I want to go to the beach when I was a kid because I didn’t have to pack anything, cook anything, or be responsible for anything! All I had to do was play.
But that’s not really why I would love to go back there. It was the joy of being all together with nothing pulling us away from each other. It was some concentrated, lovely family time.
Even now, the memory of my dad’s carefree laugh makes me cry grateful tears. To have heard it once would have been enough, and I heard it many times.
I know last week, I wrote about not living in the past or the future, but in the now. And here I am writing about the past. The past is not bad; it’s just not now and we can’t try to live in it. But the past does help make us who we are. And if we think about it, those memories can help turn “now” into a lovely moment.
I miss my dad, and I miss my daughter. But they will never be farther away than a moment when I remember them and the time we had together.
Here’s to the sweet moments of the past that give light and color to today and keep our hearts full of gratitude for every kindness from the Lord.