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See the traces of clouds almost motionless in the sweet summer sky. Walk down the pebbly little path set in the high grasses, and stand on tiptoe to see the tops of the beach umbrellas ahead. Almost there! Your childhood excitement stirs up in your heart, and you shift your beach gear tighter in your grip and walk faster.

The path curves once more ahead, then it suddenly the Maine beach opens its arms to you. You cannot take it all in at once. A troop of while seagulls drifts above the sandy curve, looking for snacks. Traces of far off sailboats mark the horizon. Wafts of ocean breeze remind you of salt and summer life at it’s best. Soft family chatter carries on the breeze, competing with the lapping of the incoming waves.

After a year of working and living in the city (small Vermont one), the gentle and fragrant lure of the ocean is irresistible. Here we were on a small ocean cove in Maine. A small town beach called Pemaquid. The very stuff of travel folders for getaways. And we were with our son and his wife and three little grandchildren. Kids, an excuse to have even more fun! In a short amount of time I had a collection of little wet beach rocks on my towel, damp feet, cheese cracker snacks, and warm shoulders from the sun. We even had the fun of shooing a flock of gulls away from our crackers, and hearing that one of them had actually carried the fish cracker bag off with him. I sure would have loved to have seen that!

Way too soon it was time to head home. A beach is hard to leave. Just being there for a few hours had soothed away a lot of the stress of the past months, widened my heart again to sweet peace, and had given me a scene to close my eyes and see again, whenever I needed it. I would be able to feel the sands of memory between my toes. Ahhhh.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, and still waters, and He restores my soul.” (From Psalm 23)