Written in the Sand

Last year I committed to spending more time at the beach. AND I DID.

My priorities and my visions of normalcy and success shifted with every minute I spent at the shoreline.

My intention was to continue regular beach visits in 2019 — multiple times every week — but so far this year … I haven’t gone much.

Today I didn’t even want to leave the house. Like most days this month. February is the worst month of winter in Washington (even without the snow that piled up last week); even though the days are getting longer, it’s not nearly enough sunlight after months of reduced daylight hours. It feels like darkness falls way too soon every day.

But I had to get one of Delia’s checks in the bank. It seemed like a waste of gas and putting-on-clothes to turn right back around and go home, so I made myself go to the beach, telling myself that I could just sit in the car and read. Just GO. Just GET there.

And there it was … proof that THE BEACH IS FOR ME, written like a personalized welcome mat:

Without planning it, the tide is often low when I get there. Especially on days like today when I had to ease myself into just the idea of being upright.

Funny coincidence: last night I read a story featuring sandwriting that was also like a personal bridge, but between where I picture the author Emma Donoghue and here in the Pacific Northwest. Starting out reading Slammerkin and The Sealed Letter, she has always seemed SO across-the-pond and decades and centuries ago from where I be, but in Touchy Subjects there she is writing about JESUS and TACOMA and the word COCKSUCKERS in the sand.

So far this book is full of stories I would never have imagined her writing, but I was totally surprised by Room coming from her, too. But maybe she was just making fun of us for that big JESUS CARES ABOUT YOU sign you can see from the freeway that you can imagine was an inspiration for it. It makes me miss Tacoma, actually. Lots of things make me miss Tacoma. But then I go to the beach here and don’t give Tacoma another thought.

Anyhoo … I had very tender feelings for “The Man Who Wrote on Beaches” when I read it last night.

“…he had a home with a view of Puget Sound and a good job and a great collection of German steins and a lot of laughs. Above all, he had Margaret, who was twice what he deserved.”

The older I get and resign myself to being My Authentic Self, I have to accept that even though I’m capitalizing those words like I’m in on the ridiculous joke of myself, I’m honestly NOT joking. I’m earnest and can say with my whole heart that I love The Man Who Wrote on Beaches. With recognition, relief that I haven’t taken it QUITE that far (but only because I got the idea of asking Jesus into my heart out of my system as a teenager), forgiveness … and no measurable amount of irony.

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