He and the lobby are breathtakingly beautiful. We glimpse the ocean before unloading our bags into our room, and I wonder why the angel hangs out in the lobby and not the beach.
My snapshots of our getaway will not tell the whole story. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, it can be if the image is spectacular; my photos are not. Only showing you my pictures will rob you of smell and touch. They are a feast for the eyes but will not exhale warm salty breezes that kissed my face all day. Without additional description, you'll not walk barefoot with me on the hot massaging carpet of sand - grains of rock rounded and smoothed by nature's toil.
Together, we could have but won't listen to calm sea murmurs whispering to us her secrets of joy and pain, stories of faith and hope, romance and tragedy--- and love.
The voice of God is over the waters. Psalm 29:3
If I use words to further explain these two-dimensional images, we could hear His voice together. His deep crystal blue song set to a rhythm by the current draws me close, beckoning me to stay awhile.
The sea gulls cry, but the sea, strumming God's lullaby, awakens all my senses into one slow, endless moment of awe, fear, and peace.
The sun bakes the sand and all exposed human skin while I expose my happy and sad secrets to the wind, waves, and moon.
"Hola! Como esta?" Everybody is cheery and hospitable, and everybody thinks I speak Spanish because of my brown skin and hair until I stare blankly and beg, "English, please?"
"Of course, Señora. So sorry!"
I'm the one who's sorry that I don't know Spanish, but that's not why George and I jumped on a plane and flew down here. Though I would love to learn the language and engage more with the sweet, passionate people of Mexico, there was another, more pressing matter for this trip. Like the angel in the lobby, I'm here to fight a battle.
It's the same one I've been fighting, but here there are no distractions, except that we are also celebrating our wedding anniversary.
Twenty years seems like a long time... because it is, but a full life tends to fly. We moved six times, had four exciting children, took on homeschooling, helped Mom navigate life after Dad died, and learned how to be good to each other. We're not perfect, not even close, and we've had good and bad days, but we've learned how to have them together. What a gift.
Our marriage is a 20-year-old boulder on which I've leaned on, stood on, walked on, carried on, and cried on. Most of all, we've just kept moving on, living out love and our dreams, and we're still dreaming. Surrounded by fountain springs and palm trees at dinner yesterday, we imaginatively rebuilt the deck as a sunroom back home, added a patio off the mudroom and a balcony off the master bedroom and more trees and fountains... Over dessert, his chocolate something and my vanilla, we decide not to actually make any decisions, just dream, just be.
We're still learning, because that's life, right? A series of lessons? The mind of a learner is actually a battlefield - one side pulling toward love and connection and the other toward bitterness and hate. There is only one way to get on the winning side. You have to fight.
It's hard to stare at this quiet, endless ocean that shimmers in the bright morning sunlight, watch the sailboats glide and think about fighting. But here I am doing that. Because now that I'm here, I recognize that the fight is as endless as the sea, but so is the love I'm fighting for.
Love of myself - the real battle.
Loving a husband who has his own set of flaws and drives me crazy sometimes has been much easier than learning to love myself because I know for some reason he loves me. What a gift.
It's high time I gave this gift to myself, too. The gift of loving myself - and slowly I'm learning how. As much as my sweet, witty, studious, intellectual, hard working, patient, strong, handsome hubby loves me, he can't make me love myself. He can show me a glimpse, but I have to do it. I have to battle my demons and fight for it.
It's a love worth fighting for.