We walk along the bay, pointing at birds and bikers passing by and stopping to scoop up seashells. I’ve walked this beach before, in a different season of life. At 20 years old, I frolicked carefree along this shoreline, figuring out the world, slowly defining myself through good times and bad decisions. Now here, with you, I teeter between old memories, flooded with the past, and experiencing this beach anew through your wondrous eyes, my present and future.
We trace my vintage footsteps through the sand and I point to my old beach house where I lived when life was simple, self-indulgent, and incomplete. At 33 I feel stable, my feet planted more firmly on the earth. Your tiny hand in mine, giving me purpose. I’m both here and now, and 13 years ago, allowing my past and present to exist together for one fleeting moment. It feels full circle, like I was always supposed to return to this beach with you to acknowledge how far I’ve come.
As my transcending worlds collide in my mind, I bend down to your eye level. You point up at the sky and say, “Airplane!”
I smile and look up. “You’re right, airplane!” We watch the jet streak across the sky and I feel my soul settle into peace– here with you, in the now.