Have you ever been to paradise? Do you know what your paradise looks like? Can you smell it and taste it?
Close your eyes, just for a moment.
Can you reach out and touch it? Do you feel it? Can you hear it?
I’m in my paradise. It smells of salty mist and tastes fresh and satisfying. I hear the ebb and flow of waves making crash landings in a well rehearsed sequence of rhythm, as the tide shifts in and then out again. I feel the coolness of the early evening breeze brush past my cheek as though it were whispering: “Do you remember your paradise?”
I make my way toward our cottage. It is a modern, one bedroom abode that I could easily live in for the rest of my days. With its knotted pine and heated tile floors, its river rock fireplace and its endless landscape. There is no doubt in my mind where I am. Paradise. It isn’t long before I’m all comfy and cozy in an over-sized swivel chair. Even the bowl-sized cup from which I sip my green tea is paradise like. I can’t help but continuously gaze through the massive glass windows that expand wall to wall across the front of the cottage. The setting takes my breath away as the ocean appears infinite lying from shoreline to the horizon.
I’m close enough to the ocean to watch the surfer dudes and dude-ettes glide so freely. It’s as though body, board and wave are one. I’m far enough from the shore that the passers by, children and pets do so silently.
The hot tub on the expansive deck provides instant warmth during a chill or the thought of a storm. It’s a luxurious comfort surrounded by water and immense trees that stand like soldiers, strategically placed to serve and protect. My dog wanders freely in and out of the cottage and if I didn’t know better I’d swear she has a real human like smile on her little doggy face. She thinks she’s in paradise too.
I read a little, nod off a little, write a little. It’s utter bliss. As my husband and I walk the spectacular, never-ending beach we spy a few secrets. In amongst the enormous erosions of rock, often hidden by the tide, are hundreds of colorful sea stars, joined arm in arm, overlapping to create a work of art that literally covers the entire rock face. Climbing up the opposite side, tide pools within the crevices are teaming with life forms most children witness with gleeful curiosity.
As we head back to our cottage, dog running wild and carefree ahead of us, we wonder, how is it she knows her way back so well when she has never been here before?
My husband takes my hand, squeezes it gently and then links his fingers within each of mine and I think I understand something new about sea stars. We agree that we are grateful for the beauty surrounding us, for one another, for the hundreds of sea stars arms linked together on that rock and most of all, for this, our paradise.
This is where we fell in love more than thirty-five years ago. While life’s events pulled us away and we lived and visited other worldly places and lands, our paradise waited for our return. The waiting made us appreciate it all the more. Paradise is timeless, making us feel as though we are too. Our journey here all those years ago, to our journey here today, reminds us both of how precious life is. It restores our faith in one another, our purpose and our everlasting love. It keeps us hopeful and holds us to the promise that this visit will not be our last. Who wouldn’t want to see a rock face full of sea stars? Who wouldn’t want to return to paradise?
Parental Guidance is advised for the following add on:
Okay, so I have to be completely honest. Although it was paradise, we were saddened by the discovery of the remains of our very own children’s childhood hero. We found; “Bert on the Beach” and we just kept thinking, does Ernie know? Who’s going to break this news to Ernie, damn it. Has anyone informed Sesame Street?
I mean, seriously….