There is a photo of my Grandpa Knobby that he once showed me. He was standing on the beach at Big Lagoon in a high-waisted swimsuit, tall, strong and laughing. His light hair curled, the sunshine was clear even in the grain of the black and white.
Other photos that he shared with me were of my Grandma, young and happy in a way I seldom saw her later. His sister, my Great Aunt Ruby, was also in some of the photos, having a ball. In her awesome skirted suit, playing in the sand with my Grandma. They had to have been under 25 years old. Just young kids, really, starting out their lives.
Sitting here, typing, I can see across the lagoon and the swathe of beach hugs the Pacific Ocean and makes the lagoon what it is.
I think about those old family stories and photos. They come from so long ago – that was over 70 years ago! – and yet – it’s so easy to imagine that if I blinked twice, I could see them all right there, across from me.
We took the kids to the beach, walking around the coast of the lagoon to the bridge between the two.
Once on the beach, basking in the warmth of the sun, freezing under the ice of the wind, I felt that sense of my past and present coming together.
The spirit of my Great Aunt Ruby was laughing in my ear – oh, I just know she’d LOVE what we are about to do!! She would think we are crazy, of course, but LOVE it.
She loved everything I did that was crazy but full of vision or passion.
She hated it when I played passive.
And here I stop to wipe my eyes. Because I miss her.
I didn’t plan on being here so long – didn’t plan on the Post Office needing an introduction before they’d keep our mail for us! – but it feels so right and good to be in this space where my grandparents once lived, where they started off their own lives. Where Aunt Ruby would come to visit, where their spirits are felt so clearly, keenly, beautifully.
I feel blessed.