I woke up this morning in my little beach cottage to the sound of birds singing enthusiastically outside my window. I opened my eyes and saw pink light filtering through the slats of the blinds. I looked at the clock: 6:28. So, I hadn’t slept in. I felt a twinge of disappointment, but I also felt awake and refreshed, so I slipped out of bed quietly and put on slippers and my favorite fleece jacket, took my Bible from the nightstand and went into the little living room to sit before the fire. I was torn between a longing to go down to the beach right then in the sweet stillness of the rosy morning and a desire to wait for Jeff to wake up so we could walk together. Then I thought, "I can do both!" So I changed into running shoes and put on my raincoat in case it was windy, grabbed my Bible and a thermos of good coffee that I had brought from home (hate that motel no-name stuff!), and quietly let myself out of the cottage and into the fresh morning air.
The ocean was pale and frothy in the early morning light. The gulls were busy and so were the dogs...it seemed everyone who owned a dog must be out on the beach letting them run. I found a spot in the soft sand that was tucked away in the tall grasses with an open view of the water and sat down to read. It was so calm that the pages didn’t even so much as flutter. My bottom worked a comfy indentation in the sand and I read in this pleasant atmosphere of sand, sea and scripture until I started feeling hungry.
Back at the cottage I made some old-fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar and then sat down to eat and read the online news on my laptop since I didn’t have my regular morning paper. Soon Jeff was up and he ate and then headed into town to buy us a latte while I showered. We thought we’d shop a little and eat lunch and then hit the beach for a long walk before driving home. By the time we were ready and heading into town, the clouds were rolling in and the temperature had dropped. I thought I’d better be prepared, so I wore my raincoat but kept my sequined flip-flops on.
"Don’t you want to change your shoes?" Jeff asked.
"No," I replied. I don’t like wearing clompy running shoes in town."
We were surprised at how chilly it was, so we ducked into a restaurant where there was a woodstove pumping out radiant heat and slid into a wooden booth. As we ate, the rain started---first a drizzle, then a steady, slanting rain. I felt my spirits sag a bit. "Oh, well," I said. "We can do the rainy-day-at-the-beach thing and browse the shops, read in the bookstore, and have a treat at the bakery." So we pulled our hoods over our heads and ventured out into the gray, dreary street. I thought I’d buy some earrings because last night when I took mine out the pearl came off the post. I hadn’t packed another pair because we were only staying one night. So a cute pair of earrings from the coast would be my purchase. But I didn’t find a single pair that interested me. Then we went to the bakery and it was closed. Then we went to the bookstore and I overheard a man say that many businesses were closed on Tuesday, as it was the slow day at the coast. By now the rain was really coming down. My feet in their sequined flip-flops were wet and cold, my hair was a frizzy mess from putting my hood on and off, and my jeans were damp from the wind blowing the rain against my legs. Jeff’s glasses were spotted with water and he was hunched inside his coat.
"Let’s go," he said.
"Okay, but let’s go to the creperie and get something yummy for the road."
So Jeff drove me over and I ran inside while he sat in the running car and waited. I ordered a lemon curd and strawberry crepe and talked about Brazil with the owner (he had postcards from all over the world adorning the walls of his creperie and his wife was Hawaiian). I told him about the delicious Brazilian crepe I had eaten called, "Romeo and Juliet," which was a mild, gooey cheese and sweet guava jam folded into a hot crepe so the cheese melted and melded with the jam. He liked the idea because he had easy access to guava jam in Hawaii. He thanked me and handed me my crepe in a red-checked paper cone and I ran back to the car, protecting my treat from the rain with my body. Jeff took my picture biting into the yummy crepe, and then the camera broke. Just like that. I helped Jeff with the messy crepe so he could eat and drive, and I gave him the final unwrapped portion so he could bite into it without eating the paper wrapping. He stuffed the entire thing in his mouth! Just "rrrrmmmphhh" and it was gone! His cheeks were bulging and a bit of strawberry dripped down his lip. I said, "Hey!! You just ate it all! He said, "I thought you were done." I said, "No, I wasn’t done. Why would you assume I was done? I hardly had any!"
The magic was over. It was pouring rain, I didn’t get my walk on the beach, I didn’t find earrings, the bakery was closed, my camera broke, and Jeff ate my crepe. We both felt grumpy and rode in silence for a good 5 miles looking out the car windows through the rain at the bleak, gray sky. Then we started talking shop...back to business again, back to routine, back to responsibility, back to the real world.
Why can’t the magic last a little longer?
When we got home, carrying in the luggage seemed like such a chore. Jeff dropped the last of it on the kitchen floor and announced, "I’m going to lie down." He went upstairs and I stood at the kitchen counter, brooding. Then I spied the last piece of left-over lemon cheesecake from Sunday sitting on a platter. I picked it up, unwrapped it, and spontaneously ate the whole thing. "Rrrrmmmphhh." Delicious. I felt a sly grin tug at the corners of my mouth. The magic was back.