When we arrived in Spain, in October of 2012, the beaches waited for us. They were a bit tired and wounded, after another summer of tourists, and snow-cones, and sombrillas. They were worn, threadbare, and yet they welcomed us.

We walked along their shorelines, and felt the grit on our feet. We pocketed sea glass, and found a lonely beach bar with plastic chairs that sunk in the sand a bit.

And our hearts beat a bit faster. We smiled, rubbed our eyes as if awaking from a nap.

One year blended to two, and we returned to the beach. Beers on Thanksgiving morning, and fireworks at midnight. My brother and I dipped our feet into the Atlantic in February. In July, my parents walked themselves to the waters, cards and chairs in hand. The boys learned to surf. I occasionally, but not occasionally enough, sat by the waves with my pen and thoughts.

And now, we start our third year. And we still pocket sea glass, and stroll between life and a dream.

But we also do homework, and mop the floors. We work late, and grumble. We ignore legitimate areas for growth, and are too quick with the joke or the brush-off.

We don’t go to the beach sometimes, when we really should.

But yet, the waters are forgiving. Tonight, as we walked, I was grateful for the grit. That bit of mess, clinging, constant, and nudging.

I’m always here, it whispers softly. But you—you will not be.

I will never have enough time.

One thought on “Grit

  1. Beautiful! We, too, were so eager for beach time when we first landed on the coast of the Pacific Northwest. After 16 years, I realize that we rarely take time to refresh in salt breezes and grit. Blessedly, just a few days ago on a grocery run I detoured for a break on a pebbly shore, picked up a few shells, watched dogs retrieve balls thrown into the surf for them. MAKE the time, Nancy, to absorb your present reality. A year is a short time; this three-year hiatus from American life is winding down. What amazing memories you will all treasure the rest of your lives!

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