“And (Jesus’) mother stored all these things in her heart." ~ Luke 2:51
The beach was her go-to place. Some folks like homey coffee shops. But for Margaret, the sea’s briny aroma was like an elixir, it tasted like home.
Despite the heat, she found herself frozen in place. The waves rolled in white tipped, spreading themselves like fine lace over the beach. There’s something revealing about the quiet whisper of waves sharing the ocean's melodies.
Today it was the memories of summers long ago with children she adored.
It had been late afternoon, almost time to leave the beach. The light had already begun fading into liquid gold, but it was so warm no one was in a hurry to leave. Her eyelids fluttered closed as she remembered calling for them as they scampered up the beach, yellow bucket in hand.
She’d been fretting all afternoon about the invitation to her best friend’s wedding. Unfortunately Janet lived in Australia. Traveling there was a luxury she simply couldn’t afford. She’d told her husband earlier that morning the only way she could go was if she “got rich quick.”
Margaret looked up at the twins as they approached. They were so “busy.” They’d worn her out by simply watching them running and swimming and playing in the water for hours.
The twins stood there holding a plastic bucket in their hands. It had been heavy and took both of them to hold it.
They were dirty; their hair tousled with sand. There had been something about their smiles: the way butterflies seemed to escape from his stomach; the way the sun had somehow toppled from the sky and made a home right in her heart.
“You brought for me?” Margaret remembered asking.
“You said you needed to get rich fast,” Tammy said, “So me and Tommy collected all these pretty shells from the shore to make necklaces! We haven’t looked at all of them but we hope there’s a pearl for you too! That way you could go to ‘Aunt” Janet’s wedding!” she grinned.
Their happiness had been so infectious. There they’d stood, so proud of themselves, holding a treasure bucket of hundreds of little shells.
She’d hugged them closely, not minding the mess they’d made of her sun dress. “You’ve made me the richest person on earth! And faster than anyone could have imagined!
And Margaret hadn’t been talking about monetary wealth.
The light wind here still carries their voice and sweet kisses. She stood up, face to the breeze and felt the sand retreating with the tide as the sun’s flaring hues melted into the sky. Just for a moment she was a young mother again.
Oh how she missed those days.
Thank you, Lord, that you fill a mother’s heart with love, for nurturing them, teaching them, comforting them and for leading them to know and do what is good, living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others. Amen