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Oceans for Emotions: Carpe Diem

Oct. 7, 2011 at 5:07 a.m.

Elaine Wheat

By Elaine Wheat

As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there.

- John 21:9

Today, on the Texas Gulf Coast, we had autumn. I built my annual, first of the season, driftwood fire right there where the waves stop.

Here in South Texas, the seasons don't have the sameness as other places. You have to grab the seasons quickly, or you might miss one all together. We can even depend on getting all four seasons in one day that you spend changing from warm hoodies, to sun hats with fish on them, and then back to winter knit caps that freeze to your forehead when it starts sleeting. Believe me, been there, done that. That was the night that I learned how to build a driftwood fire.

When I was little and only fished with Daddy, he taught me that the beach was only for crossing to get from car to water to fish. I had never, ever made a sand castle or searched for a sea shell until my own boys grew to the age that they had minds of their own and could use them to try new things. That is when they stopped minding me when I yelled, "Don't stop till you get to the water." They either feared me or respected me, and asked me to join them "beaching," and I have been beaching ever since.

That evening, because I had been good, they let me stop my beaching to go fishing.

When I started slushing out, I looked up and they had laid a driftwood fire and had it going. We sat around that fire letting me dry off a bit, while laughing and talking like good friends, instead of a parent and children. Buck, the elder son, jumped up and started yelling, "Dam it. Dam it." The mom in me popped out, and I said, "Buck Wheat, don't you talk like that." He said, "I'm talking about the sand castle. The tide's coming in, and the moat's not holding."

We all learned so much that autumn day.

Dear Lord, thank you for special days in our lives where we can learn life lessons. Help us cherish them and to and keep our eyes and hearts open, so we can find them when they happen.

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