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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beach (07/04/05)

TITLE: Beach


My heart was anxious. Eight o’clock was not that late, but I should have been up earlier. I knew he was unhappy. Why couldn’t I rise at dawn, happy, and full of energy? I could feel his disapproval, see it on his face. So many areas I fell short. Not rising early was the obvious one today.
We had come to the coast with our two small children. They sat at the small round table in the kitchenette, happily oblivious of the tension between their parents. I made nachos in the oven. Strange I remember the nachos, maybe because of the dissonance between my kids' innocent hopefulness at the prospect of having an afternoon snack, and the familiar hurt I felt at seeing the dark cloud coming over their father. I sensed once again he wanted to leave, not just the ocean, but us, me in particular.
I don’t remember crashing waves, or even sun on my children’s hair. I remember the ride home, the fog, and the green canopy the trees made as we drove the winding coastal road.
....."and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." (Isa.55:12)
For now it was rain on the windshield and two beautiful babies in the backseat.
How many times had I seen the cloud come over him? How many times had I become afraid and felt rejected, then angry, telling him to leave? Him leaving? Coming back? Taking him back?
“You don’t want to be married, do you?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
Silence. And for no reason that I could see other than once again I didn’t get up early enough.
“I want you to get your things and get out when we get home.” I told him angrily, trying to pre-empt the inevitable rejection I knew would come from him. He had left many times before, usually after writing a note on a yellow legal pad in a blue fine point felt pen. He would leave the note for me on the dining table he had bought me for Christmas, or was it my birthday? I would read it and cry.
And he did leave when we got home from the ocean, and for the last time. And I still don’t know if the black cloud came because of my angry words or my angry words came because of the dark cloud. Maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe I don’t want to look that closely at my self.
And now eighteen years later I need to pull it all out of my soul: the fog of hurt, the ocean, the green canopy of trees, the ride home from the beach, the raindrops on the windshield, the skillet of nachos, the angry words, and the dark cloud, and roll it in a ball and throw it into a pattern on the page, a keeping place to free my soul, so I can return to the ocean, and remember the sun on my babies hair that day, and the beautiful man who long ago kissed me sweet and full of promise in the rain on my front porch.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr07/11/05
Powerfully and honestly written! I felt her heartache. I mourned with her over her broken marriage. Excellent work!
Nina Phillips07/14/05
My heart acheing too. An honest point, very well written. God bless, littlelight
Shari Armstrong 07/15/05
A sad story too often seen.
Beth Muehlhausen07/15/05
The sadness looms like that cloud, and yet there seems to be hope.....perhaps to return to a memory that can inspire a new beginning???