Ocean

 

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I’ll never forget my first trip to Costa Rica.  The rain forest.  The lush landscape.  The gorgeous tropical birds, dashes of bright color weaving through the trees.  I’d been there to volunteer, to help others, but ended up falling in love with a beautiful local boy, Marco.  How handsome he was – coppery skin darkened by the sun, dark curls falling into his oversized deep brown eyes.  We spent that summer together, but my home city, work, responsibility, all the trappings of adulthood, called me back.  I never saw him again.

I’m standing next to my husband in an ornate restaurant, surrounded by our family and closest friends.  It’s our 25th wedding anniversary.  My daughter, visiting from college, beams at me from her table.  My husband is giving a speech about how blessed we both are to have found our perfect match.  “We never do anything halfway,” he says, as our friends chuckle. I smile and nod and laugh at the appropriate parts, but I’m not really there. I’m hearing the call of the birds, feeling the balmy breeze in my hair, as Marco slips his rough hand in mine and leads me to the ocean.

 For Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

albert-einstein-quote

 

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. 

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

 

I have a  Bible with an introduction that lists a series of scriptures that have practical application for everyday life.  And this was on pg. 29:

“Make sure of the most important things.”  Philippians 1:10

 

Dear Nameless Man Three Beach Chairs Down From Me On Vacation,

Have you noticed what a perfect day this is?  I don’t use the word perfect often, but today it’s appropriate.  Not a cloud in the sky, temperatures in the eighties, a soft, gentle, salty breeze blowing off the ocean.

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I’ve been here for hours.  I’ve gone for a swim with my friends, devoured a delicious juicy burger from the Shake Shack across the street, the best I’ve ever had, finished a great book, gotten tanned lying here just marveling at the scenery.  And what have you done?  I’ve heard you make multiple, very loud business calls (I hope you close the deal with the potential client by the way), ignore your children’s constant pleas to play or build sandcastles, yell at one of your kids for making one of those requests one time too many, and brusquely demand your wife return to your hotel suite to bring you yet another electronic device without a please or thank you.

So the question is – what’s more important?  Your children are beautiful.  I’m not a parent myself, but even I know how quickly time passes.  Soon they’ll be slamming their bedroom doors in your face, rolling their eyes and releasing elongated annoyed sighs when the time for family vacation rolls around.  I think maybe then you’ll think back on this day with regret, wishing you could go back, build a sandcastle, frolic in the waves.  But there will be no time.

The day is nearly over.  It will be dark soon.  People are starting to pack up to leave.  I’m going to lie here for a while with the people that are the most important to me in the world and watch the sun set over the water.  It’s a glorious sight.  I would tell you to go stand on the pier with your family and watch it with them.  You’d get the best view from there.  But I know it’s pointless.  Your wife is packing up your children’s things alone, your children are already lugging their toys up the beach toward the resort.  Have you noticed they’re leaving?  Probably not. If you’ll be here tomorrow, and I hope you will be, put the phone and the tablets down, and look up.  Look into your children’s faces.  Record their sweet laughter in your head for future reference – they’re only that sweet for so long.  Look at the ocean.  Feel the salt air on your face.  Tell your wife you appreciate her.  Remember what’s really important. And for goodness sakes, build your kids a sandcastle.

Sincerely,

Jenn

P.S. Since you have your tablet handy already, head over to iTunes and download Cats in the Cradle, I hear it’s a great song!