I hurriedly walked through the gym to pick up my little man Friday evening. I greeted him with a huge smile and we quickly made our way back to the car. "Why are we rushing," he asked with a look of confusion on his face. I turned to him and exclaimed that I had a surprise for him and his sister; an unexpected drive to the coast to eat dinner, drink hot chocolate and watch the sunset. His whole face lit up and I could tell that he was beyond excited. So we piled back into the car and began the drive out to the coast.
Even with it being Friday, which meant end of the week, everyone wants to get home, don't get in my way, kind of traffic, it took less than an hour to make it into Half Moon Bay. As we drove into this quiet little ocean town, I rolled down the windows and we breathed in the cool air. We stopped briefly to grab dinner, hot chocolates and a coffee to go and then we made our way along the coast.
The air smelt of salt and sea. The wind carried the sound of crashing waves singing a song of a world out of view. My oldest scanned the ocean, hoping to catch a glimpse of a whale, a dolphin or maybe even a shark he happily said. I recalled that same eager hunt for the sight of a fin or a tail when I was little, refusing to take my eyes off for a second in the fear that I might miss something.
We made it to Pigeon Point Lighthouse, with plenty of time to walk around and enjoy our warm drinks before the sun sank below the horizon line. Their little legs carried them swiftly across the ground, taking in the lighthouse, the rocks, the ocean and the sky.
After exploring every inch of the lighthouse grounds, we picked our spot on a bench above the beach to enjoy the final sips of our drinks and to watch the sun paint the sky a gorgeous array of colors as it said goodnight to this Friday.
I pulled my coat tighter as the temperature began to drop and I watched my two little ones take in this sight that spoke of God's handiwork, power and glory. As my littlest battled the fear of the roaring waves that seemed so much bigger up close, I listened as my oldest hugged her and said, "we don't need to be scared, God is taking care of us." In that moment, I was completely overwhelmed by my love for these two who had stolen my heart the moment I laid eyes on each of them.
I had thought of this spontaneous trip earlier in the day while sitting in my cube. I want to be doing the things that make memories. The things that don't require a lot of money, stuff or planning, but where we are connecting as a family, enjoying each other's company and taking in all of the amazing sights so close at hand. When five o'clock rolled around, and I felt wiped from a long week of work, driving all that way didn't seem like the brilliant idea it had at 10:00am in the morning. But my desire to live this life right now, to show my kids as much as I can and to be fully present pushed me to make the trek. And it was so worth it!
We waited until the sun finally sank into the ocean and out of sight before climbing back into the car. I snapped a few shots, attempting to freeze in time the soft pinks, bright oranges and lazy yellows of the sun's beams dancing across the sky. In order to capture the vibrant colors, the other details of the picture would turn out dark and indiscernible. Looking at the photos, it made me think that our lives can be like that. When we allow God's light to shine through, the problems, the mistakes and the pain can fade into darkness and we are left with the beauty of what God is building out of the ashes.