I sprawled on the chair in the family room, book in hand, feeling low-energy yet restless. From upstairs, a hum of voices floated down, punctuated by laughs and giggles. Addie and her friend, Kayla. Lydia was in her room, chatting online with her boyfriend. Kurt was at a meeting. Maybe we should go to the beach or do something, I thought idly. But I didn’t move.
A little bit later, Addie wandered downstairs and into the room. “Want to do something?”
“Well,” I said without much enthusiasm, “I was just thinking we could go down to the beach. It’s a little bit late, but it’s probably gonna be pretty down there.”
Addie floated the idea to Kayla and Lydia, and between the four of us we worked up some motivation and headed out. Half an hour later as we drove down the peninsula, we debated which part of the beach to visit. Should we go to the old fort where the seals sometimes fish and frolic? Or should we visit the state park portion where wide open expanses of beach invite long strolls?
“Well, I think it’s almost low tide, so we could walk out to Fox Island,” I suggested. “That could be fun. We haven’t done that in ages.”
“I don’t remember ever walking out to an island!” Lydia protested. Despite our detailed descriptions, she couldn’t remember it at all. That settled it. Fox Island it was.
We pulled into the lot and parked, opening the doors to temperatures in the high 60s and a lovely afternoon glow. We walked up the path over the dunes, and the beach unfolded before us. Fox Island lay directly ahead, the large sandy causeway clearly visible. Already the sun was heading down, spilling golden light upon the wet sand.
“Oh, it’s beautiful!” I sighed.
A few people wandered in the distance, silhouetted against sand or surf. Layers of mist obscured the shore line of islands and a distant light house. Over time, they drifted into the beach and then away again, veils hiding and revealing, in constant flux. Herring gulls strutted along the tide line, foraging, their reflections bright in the wet sand.
The girls and I meandered along the beach, stopping to snap pictures, gradually heading out to the island. As the sun slipped lower, the light shifted as we walked. At times it was so golden it felt surreal, at others cooler and toned with serene blues and greys.
We reached Fox Island and the girls climbed ahead onto the rocks. I stopped to watch them and to soak in the scene around me. Their voices and laughter drifted back in the cool air. The waves tumbled and crashed and the sun continued its slow golden descent. The mist shifted and skimmed over the sand. I closed my eyes briefly, etching it all into memory, fully content and deeply moved.
This beautiful place. These beautiful girls. This beautiful moment.
How lovely life can be.