We walked along the shore side by side.… A royal sky cloaked in sparkling diamonds, a brightly glowing moon to illuminate the soft sand beneath our feet. The gentle salty breeze and the calming surf. The night was our secret and the sleeping world was left unaware of the treasures unfolding before us, these precious moments only for a mother and a daughter to experience, once, brilliantly, forever.
The sea knew that our hearts had been distant, and she had some mending to do. Six hundred miles apart from one another, I had transformed into a mother myself. A great deal of physical disconnect and longing rose up inside us both, and a bubbling spring of unshared feelings flowed deep within.
Our lips did not speak a word, but our hearts were in wild conversation. Here in this sandy space between, a healing was taking place. Our gazes fixed on the shore, scanning back and forth for a sign. Something we had never seen before.
Could we be so lucky, this mother-daughter duo to happen upon an ancient mother of the sea?
Hushed voices and seeking eyes, we walked along the shore. Cradled between the gentle sea foam and the dark heights of the grassy dunes. We quietly sifted through a myriad of footprints left by summering families and vacationing lovers, in search of a different set of prints.
Could we discern them in this faded scene? Would we fall right into them? Would we recognize them if we did?
The night grew shorter as we pressed on. Optimism took us miles down the shore.
Miles led to mending hearts.
No longer concerned about the tracks or the story to tell, we lived in that sandy space and held it close. Enjoying the endless night as two best friends do, with linked arms and nowhere in particular to go. Sharing secrets and giggles and a moment as deep as the sea.
The night grew longer as we floated aimlessly.
Then suddenly, stop. Not a word, not a breath!
A long wide groove lay before us glowing under the moonlight. Straight out of the waves, carving a path up toward the darkness of the shadowy dunes.
Dare we follow? Could we find her there?
Linking arms even tighter than before, we excitedly, shakily traversed the tracks, noticing how we both fit loosely within their breadth. We hunched over, making ourselves smaller and quieter, afraid to scare a gentle matron.
Out of the shadows, with each step closer, she emerged. Grand as Mother Nature herself, she lay there in the sand silently, beautifully. Beckoning us with her heart, come sit a while. Let us join journeys. Three mothers under these stars.
All the world a-quiet, a moment just for us. A mother, a daughter, and an ancient mother of the sea.
The night stood still.
We took a driftwood seat under the sparkling blanket. She told us her stories, shared her precious course. She lay her eggs in the silvery night air and when the time came, she covered her beloved nest. Took care to leave things as she found them. Then returned in her laborious way to the waves once more.
But just before she dove asunder, she turned around again. A glance, three hearts, a promise, and then she slipped away.
With eyes full of tears and hearts full of unspeakable treasure, we hold this moment dear. A night of mending, of raw beauty, of unspoken motherhood secrets.
Years later and the miles still hurt. But this I have learned. I in her, and she in me, together we will always be.