Oceans For Emotions: It's nice to belong
By Elaine Wheat
Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:01 a.m.
"And now for a little space, grace hath been showed from the Lord our God."
- Ezra 9:8
I went to another retirement party for my "BFF" (Best Fishing Friend) who has reached retirement age but is anything but retiring.
Because I am becoming tired of hearing about retirement, I just pulled up a chair away from the main mass of smiling people and claimed my space all alone. I was attending, but I wasn't liking it, and I had smiled the last smile I had saved for special occasions.
Soon, a dear friend that I had made when I first moved to Victoria came up and sat with me. Clemmie was the assistant to the athletic director for Victoria ISD, so she was one of the first people I had met when I moved in 1977. But we shared more than just years between us. She and her family had built a home on stilts on Magnolia Beach and loved the ocean as much as I did.
We laughed at how hard we use to fish 36 years ago, and she even told me that they had bought a boat just to increase their chances of catching their limits. As we talked longer, we realized that we loved the ocean just as much as we loved what the ocean gave us. We spoke of red sunrises and sunsets, grey fog, blue moons and sparkly waters that were fashionable on our ocean even before women started wearing bling to become fashionable.
We finally admitted that finding a tiny piece of Texas-eyed coral and saving it in our ziplock plastic bags and saving one bag after the other was almost as much fun as catching fish. The coral didn't have to be scaled, cleaned, filleted and fried before we could enjoy it. It just belonged to us and we felt as though we belonged to it. Belonging is very important.
We knew this was true when we talked about our beach front and one of us would name some place like the crabbing bridge, the public pier, the place where the old barge use to sit, ripple road, bluebonnet hill, cemetery bridge, Ed Bell's fishing center and the sameness and the changes that each one of those had gone through.
At the end of the retirement party, Clemmie and I looked at each other and said "good bye," knowing that we would see each other soon.
We would be the two old ladies crawling on the beach looking for little pieces of coral that wanted to belong.
Dear Lord, thank you for the little space that you saved for us today. We left with a smile in our hearts for just having been there to receive your grace.