“Watch out for the parking near the beach,” warned the waitress in a right-off-the-highway cafe with walls the color of a Florida sunset, “It can be pricey.”
“Twenty bucks,” the parking attendant told us. “All day–park wherever you want in the lot.”
(After having parked a lot in both Boston and New York City, “pricey” means a pretty different thing to us than to the wonderful inhabitants of Ogunquit, I think.)
It was roughly a thousand degrees, give or take nine hundred and ten. The water, which is cold off the coast of Maine, felt refreshing. We found a cove with sand and clear water, waves rolling in slowly from at least the middle of the ocean, maybe even France; we laid down on hot rocks and warmed ourselves after the water did its job cooling us down. Well, I laid on the hot rocks, anyway–TJ might have wondered aloud whether or not ticks live on rocks and decided to enjoy the warmth from a nearby and upright position.
It was perfect. We stared at the water a long time and it wasn’t long enough. We watched sailboats go by slowly; nobody is in a hurry in Maine, not even the strawberries we picked up from a produce stand on the drive back. They’d been lingering all day, the lady told us, hanging around till the end, and here were some still not past their prime (and she was right: they were some of the best berries we’ve ever had. Man, a perfect berry goes a long way in convincing me that life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest).
We didn’t do anything extravagant, really. We sat huddled together in a beautiful place and talked. There was no entrance fee to be where we were, no entertainment to be found other than what the ocean’s been saying forever.
We got up early to go, we could only stay for the day, we didn’t bring any of the regular beach bum equipment–not even a towel–and we were tired.
I also loved it. It was perfect. I needed it.
All these decisions to spend time on each other in beautiful places add up. And they help ease grace back into the days when Charlee is screaming and I wonder if TJ hears it and TJ wonders if I see the workload on his shoulders.
Because I guess we could spend time fighting each other, or we could spend time fighting for a view that is worth the steep climb. I guess we could come up with reasons for why we can’t spend our precious time on each other, or we could remember the reason this love is even tenable in the first place: because we made it so.
And we make it so again and again. On the marked wooden floor of our apartment where TJ proposed to me and Charlee learned to walk; in the car, over the sounds of Charlee crying to walk, always walk! we have a child who was not made for wheels because look, world, she has feet!
And now in Maine, too. We join with all the craftsmen and artisans and wordsmiths– and anyone who has ever made anything at all–and with words and silence and closeness and hopes discussed in front of a view, we make our love tenable; we make our love last.