Hello from Gulf Islands National Seashore, outside Pensacola, Florida. We have spent the past week in the sunshine here splashing in the Gulf of Mexico, soaking up the sun under unseasonably clear blue skies, hunting seashells and hermit crabs, petting animals at the zoo, and generally enjoying a much, much needed long-overdue vacation.
Today, our last full day here, I'm...
Seeing: turquoise blue surf, white foam waves under a cloudless sky, baby eyelashes miles long on flushed cheeks, brightly colored beach towels and sunbrellas leaning into the wind, my Lucy-girl splashing in the waves, light everywhere, absolutely everywhere.
Hearing: the pound of surf, the whir of sea breeze in a straw hat, voices caught on that wind and dulled by those waves, the happy laughter of a little girl in love with the beach.
Smelling: Salt air, baby sweat, the plastic air in a snorkel mask
Tasting: the morning's pancake, egg and bacon breakfast, carrots and celery on the beach seasoned by salty-ocean fingers, the grit of sand in teeth, the life of fresh water on my tongue
Touching: the crunch of broken shells under my bare feet and sweat tickling my neck as we attempt a family picture, my bare, tender-tanned and heat-rashy skin still moonpale next to the rest of my little family, my youngest napping on my chest under a bright towel tent made cool by air and water, her breaths rising and falling, her body holding me tight even in her sleep.
It feels like a little glimpse into the beauty and brightness of heaven. I'm beginning to understand what sabbaticals are for. There are times when extravagant rest--a time to just eat and drink and play and sleep deep--is just what the soul needs.
I am deeply grateful that my parents and their friends with a home in Florida made this trip possible for us. So. Grateful.