While we were in Jupiter for the Knowles/Scerra family reunion, my brother-in-law Callum (husband of Thad’s sister Sarah) graciously offered to take groups of us out on his motorboat in the Intracoastal Waterway. Since my little Ben wanted to go, I waded out to the boat and climbed aboard too. As a little background, it should be noted that my husband’s grandparents were natives of the Bahamas, where the Knowles family is still well known in the fishing industry. They settled in the U.S. in the 1920’s, but my husband himself lived in the Bahamas for several years of his early childhood, spending much of his time at the beach and in the water. When Thad was about 8, they moved to western Massachusetts and managed a ski lodge on Lake Pontoosuc, where they could go canoeing or sailing. So Thad’s family is used to being on the water, while I’m much more of a land lubber. I can take a trip to the beach and splash around in the shallow waves, but that’s about the extent of it. (Some of you will remember a blog post called Fear! (Or Not!) mentioning my nightmare – a recurring one -- about huge waves sweeping me away at the beach.)
And now here I was on the Intracoastal, watching some of my husband’s kinfolk frantically hanging onto a tube raft towed behind a fast motor boat in deep water, smacking over the waves that Callum so artfully stirred up by swerving this way and that, and then losing their grip and trying to hoist aboard again. And all I could say was, “MY TURN NEXT!” Time for me to take a little risk and enjoy myself with outrageous fun beyond my usual comfort zone! I didn’t even need to take a trip to the chiropractor after it. I suppose it helped that I lift weights at the YMCA, which gave me the extra strength to hold on to that tube!
It dawned on me then that each day brings its own unique moments, and we don’t get the same ones over again. If I didn’t do it then, I might never have had the chance. “Carpe diem!” (Seize the day!) Or, as we moderns say, “Get a life!”
The next day our fun came at a slower pace. We crossed the street over to the ocean side for a barbecue beach day. This particular beach is covered with rock: not pebbles but long stretches of what I think was limestone. This made wading a bit of a challenge because of the slippery and uneven bottom. The best thing to do was float out on a body board and paddle in the water. Or, better yet, we could stroll down the beach to the large outcroppings of rock that were pocketed with small caverns. The water sprayed up through the holes as the waves splashed up under them. You could walk along the top if you watched your step. Or you could shimmy down into one of the larger openings if you watched your head – which I learned the hard way, of course. At first, one of my boys complained about having nothing to do. I had to laugh. Nothing to do at the beach, huh? OK, so it might not have been as thrilling as the motor boating, tubing, and kayaking the day before, but each day brings its own special moments, and some of them are quieter, more subtle ones.
This new beach day brought sea shells and (after the whining stopped) snorkel masks. For me, it also brought a chance to sit on a big rock and cuddle a little girl while enjoying the rolling waves at my feet. We need to live “in the moment” and enjoy each day for what it brings. During the reunion weekend, I savored my time, wherever and with whomever I found myself. Each person is precious, each moment as sacred, especially as we gratefully receive them as gifts from a gracious God who came to bring us abundant life.
by Julia Fletcher
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages