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Love of Life
Dedicated to Michael Graber
Submitted by Janna
Love of Life
By Janna Graber
The rhythm of the pounding waves rang softly in my ears as I made my way along the sandy beach, my bare feet making prints in the earth that the ocean quickly wiped away. In the distance, I could hear the laughter of my two daughters playing with their father in the surf. I couldn't help but smile at their shrieks and cries. It was the music my ears have come to love. Taking a deep breath, I slowly drew in the salty air, wishing I could make this time pass more slowly.
Continuing my solitary jaunt, I followed the coastline as it gently curved where a black lava flow met the sea. Tiny pools of water were held hostage in the lava's grasp, filled with sea life and abandoned shells. Fascinated, I stooped down to watch, delighting in this unfamiliar site.
Careful not to cut my feet on the sharp rock, I continued my journey, hopping along the lava that jutted out into the sea. When the rock stopped abruptly, I sat down to watch the fierce waves that tried so hard to reach me.
From my perch, I watched in the distance as two small girls played catch with the sea. Taunting the waves and holding hands, my daughters ran into the ocean, only to retreat in thrilled cries as the waves ran to meet them. I saw my husband watching from the shore, a happy smile on his face.
His smile matched mine. In just 24 hours, Hawaii had wiped the cares and worries from our eyes. The frantic pace of yesterday -- the deadlines, job worries and school concerns - were now dim memories left far behind in our other lives. Today there was only us -- my husband and I, our daughters, and the child soon to be born - together. Life had taken on a different perspective, paring it down to what was simple and most important.
Closing my eyes, I made a mental picture of the sun as it set in the horizon, casting its last rays of light on the people I love. Then remembering the camera slung lazily across my shoulder, I pulled it out quickly, snapping up a treasured memory.
Months have past since that night of our Hawaiian sunset, but the picture hangs over the fireplace of our mountain home. When life becomes too rushed -- when the kids are running late for school, I'm stressed at work, and the days seem cold -- I look at our photo. I can hear the waves as they pound their song on the sand, and feel those last rays of sunshine on my shoulder as the sun goes down. And every time I do, it makes me smile, and I remember what is most important.