So, I spent a too-short time at the beach this last week and it was filled with those moments when I wanted to stop time and just BE in that exact, beautiful instant.
My daughters, running ahead of me into the waves with the morning sun slanting down and outlining them in gold.
My husband, his laugh so genuine and true when my youngest told him a joke.
The way that school of dolphins swam right in front of us for a good twenty minutes, leaping over one another like performers.
Of course, you can't really stop those moments. You can't even photograph them properly. By the time the camera is brought to your eye the moment is gone. It shifts when you try to record it, and the act of recording the joy separates you from the actual joy. Instead, I just surrender to the seconds and say 'now!' to myself. A reminder to be, now, forever.
My children don't always understand my being, now and forever. They do understand mementos, though.
We created these necklaces on the morning before we left the beach. The return journey was already calling us. I had checked my email. The car needed packed and there was a floor to sweep. I had already stripped the beds and needed to toss the sheets in the dryer, but instead we sat on the deck of our borrowed beach house and constructed a few necklaces with collected shells and bits of sand. My five-year-old made three trips down the stairs to the beach to collect sand for each of us from a very specific spot, right there. She brought each bottle up and presented it to me with great ceremony. We didn't rush through the selection of the linen or the shells, but we did compromise a bit on the clasps. Somehow my daughters have a momma who can keep 200 styles of clasp in-stock in her bead store, but can't remember to pack more than 2 in her beach trip craft bag. Hence the safety pin clasp.
And these are our clasps. Big sister, who has the safety pin clasp, has kept it and says she likes the look. I'll have a how-to on my version of this necklace (the leather one) coming out soon in a Dispatch if you are interested.
Thank you, Alice.