Water gives life. It also takes it away.
Write a short piece – fiction or non-fiction – inspired by one or both of these statements.
I sat at the edge of the surf, just in the right spot for the water to hit my feet every time the tide came up. The sand was cooler there. Memories of my own childhood at the beach came to me. Days spent searching for shells, splashing in the salty sea in my sailor swimming suit.
While riffling through the distant images in my head, I watched the boys and their dads playing in the shallow water then glanced back to see my friend still reading her book.
She didn’t know.
She didn’t know that last night, while she and her husband were out for their “alone” dinner, I peed on a stick in the vacation house half bath. And two pink lines showed up.
We’d decided not to tell our friends we were vacationing with, because we wanted to share the news with our parents first. Looking back, I don’t really know it if would have mattered all that much. We should have told them. Weren’t they curious as to why I didn’t have any wine that night after they got back and we played scrabble? Again.
I dug my toes into the sand and watched the tiny little “clams” as they clamored their way back under the surface each time the water receded. They were even bigger than the baby in my belly. Was it another boy? Or maybe a girl this time? “I’m going with boy”, I said to myself.
As I watched rhythmic wave after wave, the water swallowing its own self up, I thought about the water that would keep my baby alive within me and what an amazing thing God did when he designed our bodies for pregnancy.
I thought about the water that a priest would pour over this baby’s head, as we gathered around the altar in front of our church community, with huge smiles on our faces, welcoming the innocent bundle officially into God’s family.
I dreamed of the day we’d eventually share this special place with the new baby. Here, in this same spot where the sun shines on our faces with its intense summer rays. The place where we build sandcastles and later laugh about where we find the same sand, while cleaning up for a dinner of fried fish and shrimp.
This baby and his/her older brother, someday squabbling over the same sand pail or asking Daddy to take them out into the water. And later that same day, excited for $1.00 souvenirs of plastic “Made in China” back-scratchers and magnets of dolphins and packages of shells.
And me, taking a moment to show both of them the ocean, with all its power and telling them to be cautious but also to see the power of rejuvenation and cleansing of the soul that it holds. Because that is what it does for me on every visit…
Just then, I was brought of my thoughts as my first baby called me to come and play in the waves with him.
And so I went.