It's been  a busy week on the homefront.   For a brief moment this morning when I first awoke, I had no idea what day of the week it was.  
Did we miss the bus??   The kids will be late for school!!   I have to make the lunches ....  and promptly fell back onto the bed.

ZooZoo was at the bedside asking for breakfast; that's what woke me up.  Which means, yes - I did sleep through my alarm.   But she's still in pj's so it must be Saturday.  Whew!

Getting breakfast is only the start of a busy day.   This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so there will be cleaning, and baking and general declutter of All The Toys.  I've also got my Sunday School class lesson to complete.   AND, as if all that is not enough, I've taken on a new adventure!!!   It will be a lot of work.  It will be very rewarding!!   More about that later.

For now, as my pumpkin spice steaming latte fills my senses, 15 minutes to drift off into another world, before I get smacked back by Reality.   

I don't know if you have been following along with my story that takes place on moonlight beaches, but I thought it was time to return to the tale of Mike and Callie.  The last time we saw them, they were leaving that Sunset glowing beach, with a very happy little boy swinging between them.   Will the happy mood last?

Find previous Chapters:   One,   Two,   and Three 


Sunset Cool Down - Part 4

The moon was high in the sky when Callie stepped out onto the front porch of her small ocean front hut.  Aided by the midnight glow shining down on the shore, she could see the very footprints in the sand where their small group had walked hours prior.   A soft smile lit her own features as she recalled the early evening events.  With the tea cup warming her hands, the gentle ocean breeze on her sweat glistened skin, and young boy's laughter still in her ears; it was easy to find a sense of peace in this place.

But she also recalled a time when peace was not so easily found in her life.

Once upon a time, her life was more filled with turmoil, than any warmth or laughter.  Any calm she found, was soon stolen away; her soul twisted and plaited by other hands until she was left to crash about helplessly.  Much like the very waves she could hear crashing down upon the distant shore.  Back then, stopping the chaos in her life, was akin to trying to hold back those very tides.  Many a day since her embattled childhood was spent holding her head up high - refusing to be pulled under; churned up by events of the past.   The struggle to not give up was once a daily battle.

I refuse to sink.
She traced a finger over the inked words on her wrist.  Saw the faint mark of the anchor they circled.  It had become her mantra. Permanently.

Anyone who looked at her now, she appeared the very face of serenity.   And it's true she was.   But this was now; and that was then -- and somewhere along the space in between, she had learned that life was lived in the Now.  Not in the past.  Not in the future.  Neither could be changed.   All you had was the present moment.  And she would no longer live hers at the will, or whims, of others.

Callie did not possess the kind of heart to hold a grudge.  Or was one to be filled with hatred and bitterness.  Despite the trials of her youth, there always remained a gentleness of spirit about her.  It was that very nature that drew people to Callie.  Those who met her, felt instantly at ease.  Her bubbly personality and calm demeanor were easy to like.  But those same qualities, also lead some to take advantage.  Somehow she had managed to gain her wisdom and protect herself, without giving up that gentle, giving heart.  With no reinforced wall built around, it remained wide open to give and receive. 

There had been one person in her life during all those troubles, who walked beside her and shone her own light into those dark corners.  Sometimes she was a shield, sometimes she took on the burdens herself; often they just held one another until the most recent storm passed.  What mattered was she was always there with a gentle smile and loving touch.

"I love you to the moon and back Callie Bean." she would whisper, as she gently tucked a weary, tiny form into the big poster bed.  Her fingers gently pushing a stray lock of hair behind an ear, as her soft voice filled the dimly lit bedroom, carrying any lingering fears out the open window and into the night.  She would sing until Callie's thick lashes finally rested upon her tear stained cheeks, and her breathing grew soft.

Those were the nights when Callie dreamed big dreams.  When buried deep and warm in thick feather comforters, she actually believed she might one day have a life filled with laughter and love, and sweet voiced melodies would always turn mourning to joy.  There would be no more tears, no more fears, and maybe she too would find someone special.  Maybe a child of her own to tuck safely into big down covers each night, and send off to dreamland with lullabies.  A soft sigh escaped her as she hoped she would get the chance to carry on such a loving legacy. 

Callie leaned against the porch column and gazed out over the ocean, as a single tear slipped silently down her pale cheek.  Her Nana was long gone now, and she missed her every day.  But that was another thing she had learned: you never really lose the people you loved with your whole heart.  That love stays with you.  And it continues to grow snuggled in places so deep; much like being wrapped safe and warm in downy covers.  When the World presses in and crashes upon you with turbulent tides, you pull their memory close about you, and find that soft place called Hope to float upon. 

Callie inhaled deeply, sure she could smell the summer washed and line dried scent of those sheets from long ago.  Her smile stretched wider and her heart swelled, as the waves continued their rhythmic rolling along the beach.   Her eyes once again found the footprints in the sand, only beginning to fade as the moon continued it's journey across the sky. 

I love you to the moon and back Nana. 

Three sets of footprints in the sand.
Second chances.
And just one Life to get it right.

Yes, Callie thought, as she settled into the big rocking chair, and cupped her hands around the still warm cup of tea.   All you have is Now.

That, and what was the best way to surprise a young boy who had already won a place in your heart?  And just how much does he take after his uncle?

The photo was created by combining several layers of my own recent shots of the bright Harvest Moon, a beach shot, and some footprints and writing in the sand. 
The fiction is my own creation.

What message would you write in the sand?