Friday, February 15, 2008

Love letters in the sand

I know this picture isn't up to my usual standard; it is what an instructor of mine once referred to as "a record shot," i.e., it records an event but has no intrinsic artistic value.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, but I wasn't really thinking of that when I wrote the blog yesterday morning -- the blog I later realized was, in its way, a love letter to God.

Yesterday was also a very full day, so, after finishing the blog, I dressed and prepared to leave the house for what would be the rest of the day. Since we have a dog, I had arranged for my daughter to come home and feed him at dinnertime, and I made sure to walk him before I left.

It was a brief walk -- just out the boardwalk to the beach for a quick stroll. And he was good; he "did his duty" and was done with it and ready to go back. But while I was waiting I looked down and saw a piece of red beach glass.

If you spend as much time on the Northwest beaches as I do, you know that red beach glass is extremely rare. In fact, I've only seen a piece once before: it was picked up by my friend Karen's daughter Katie, the first time the three of us ever walked the beach together, several years ago. I remember making a big deal about it then, and I remember how proud Katie -- an absolutely adorable child of seven at the time -- was to have spotted it.

I walk our beach a lot. When we first bought the house and I felt so lost and alone, I used to rejoice every time I found a piece of blue glass (also rare, but they do show up from time to time) because I felt it was a reminder that God was with me. I remember telling Karen about that -- she, too, walks the beach a lot, and she collects beach glass as well.

Since Katie got sick I never walk the beach without thinking of her and Karen, and of that one piece of red glass. Was it an omen? Could I have somehow prevented her cancer by taking it from her?

And now, here, another piece. And when I picked it up, I realized it was in the shape of a lopsided (broken?) heart, and so I photographed it on top of the valentine my daughter made for me, and sent the photo to some friends.

But now I'm sending my little red glass heart to Karen. Because I've decided this one is not an omen: I believe this little red glass heart is a love letter from God and from Katie to both of us, and it truly belongs to her.

Life is full of miracles.

1 comment:

Gberger said...

Wow. Thank you for this beautiful gift, from the deepest place in my HEART.
You are a truly loving friend, and I appreciate you more than I can say.
With LOVE,