This week, Sally and I are at the beach. We are with her Aunt Lois’ side of the family at their 37th annual family beach week at Bethany Beach, DE. First, it is a blessings to be invited to something that spans 3 generations and is the highlight of summer for all of them. Second, it is great to be welcomed into this family with open arms like they have known me my whole life. Finally, this week, on day two, has been one of the best I’ve had in a while.
The beach is perfect. It is in the 80’s, just enough clouds to give an occasional break from the heat, and a constant ocean breeze that not only cools you, it has made my sinuses dry. I am so ready to have the tan of my childhood, when I practically lived at the local pool. I will have to pace myself!
Yesterday, the first day, I was enraptured with just being free. No agendas, no plans, just Sally and I, with my new family, on the beach.
The beach! It was as close to heaven as I have felt. The temperature was perfect, the sun beamed down on you just warm enough to remind you that it was there and make you sweat just enough that the ocean breeze kept you cool. Lying there on our towels, listening to the gentle crash of the surf, listening in on various conversations around you, and then, realizing that, hey, was I napping…for an hour??? The greatest thing was at about 4 o’clock, looking out over the family plot, as it were, and just seeing everyone asleep on the beach. Happy as clams, content to just to be together.
In the movie, Field of Dreams, the Shoeless Joe Jackson character asks Kevin Costner’s character, “Is this Heaven?” I have to say, I know how he feels. I feel the sun on my face, the breeze in my hair, the majesty of God’s creation as the waves crash onto the shore, and the love and acceptance by a family I do not know, and I ask myself the same question…”Is this Heaven?” Well, no, but it’s certainly not Iowa.