I've long been enthralled with the sea, the ocean, the beach, the waves crashing, tides rising and falling, and the hidden things of deep.
Today is no different, and yet it is. The sun is setting, sinking lower in a cotton candy colored sky and I watch and listen to these that are mine. My husband. My son. My daughters.
The waves toss white foam and the older three make their own discoveries.
Nicholas, now 7, battles the waves valiantly, charging into surf, no longer needing a grown up hand to feel confident. He jumps, he punches, he crashes into them as they crash into him. When he's knocked down, he comes up tugging at trunks that have slipped a bit below modest, wiping salty sting from his eyes, and turns to meet the next challenge. He's becoming stronger and more independent right before my eyes. He calls back warnings to younger sisters, and occasionally takes one by the hand, leading her into the adventure.
Mackenzie is 5 and she loves to do whatever her big brother does. Where she once was fearless, because she simply didn't know to be afraid, she has learned to be a bit more cautious. She wants to go deeper, but she wants Daddy with her. She holds a hand or sits comfortably on his hip, arms wrapped securely around his neck, and they move into the waves. She runs along the edge of the water and points our her favorite pinks and purples in the setting sun.
Annie grins as she "tip-toes" along to try to catch a bird. She's content in the soft sand and may occasionally venture onto the packed wet portion, just to wet her toes, but she doesn't care much for the waves right now. She's collecting...pieces of seaweed, driftwood, rocks, piles of sand, some shells.
These that are mine, they are each so exquisite in the magical light of the setting sun. Water glimmers and wet skin reflects and they're brilliant. And I realize that they are also deep waters.
This man, who fathered these children of mine, who is a safe place when waves roll round, that even as I know him and am known by him, has such depth that I may never fully know.
This boy child, the first to swim in the salty fluid places of my womb, growing by bits and pieces toward manhood.
The first girl, the one that doesn't speak unless she's very comfortable, she runs with grace and has a tenderness in her touch.
The second girl, with giggles and grins, with silly dances and always something to entertain her self.
This little one, with squishy arms and legs, with curious eyes, with a little voice that sounds so sweet with a few words, the one who makes demands that are sometimes incomprehensible, this one that changes daily as she learns new skills.
I see just this tiny coastal view of who they are now and who they'll be farther from me and there's so much more over the horizon that I can't even begin to know.
My heart is full and my own salty waters spill over lashes and down cheeks to mix in the sands with this ocean.