Wordless Wishes


In a blink, the sun sets itself beyond the horizon.  It always makes me ponder the fact that it moves that quickly all day long, laboring above us while we do what we do, day in and day out, often subject to our cursing as it beams its searing heat so often felt in Southern California.  The moments when we get to dedicate our attention to its setting are the moments we are able to cherish its presence in the way that it deserves.  

It wasn’t difficult to find the beach this past Tuesday night; it turns out people of Florida love their sunsets, too.  I simply followed the crowd of couples, families and friends as they traversed over the Vanderbilt Channel, across the wood bridge tunneled overhead by densely overgrown seagrape bushes and on through to the Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park.  I felt comforted to be amongst these like-minded sunset-viewers, almost as if it didn’t feel like I was over 2500 miles away from home.  In great attention we collectively gazed west over the Gulf of Mexico, enjoying Mother Nature’s dynamic canvas, morphing and changing before our very eyes.  I was too afraid to turn my head, worried I’d miss that second when it dipped into the ocean, half expecting to see what would be a spectacular show of steam, trying to soak in each moment leading up to it. Some toasted their solo red cups to it, others paused from reeling in their fishing line to take it in, kids ran and played ‘tag’ in what sunlight remained; I sat, shoes kicked off, take-out dinner in hand, cool sand on my feet, and I thought about my family.  

I thought about how that same sun would set over the hills west of where my daughters and husband would lie their heads down to sleep, and I sent a wish with the sun.  One which I don’t have words to describe, but, don’t worry, the Sun knew what I meant.  

I finished my dinner, and headed out toward my car while dusk still provided enough light to make my mother happy; the moon led the way.  I was aware that what I felt wasn’t the aching pit that I thought I would feel, and it puzzled me a bit.  Of course I missed my family, but could it be that this little work-inspired adventure was what I needed more than I realized?  Or was it that reading ‘Wild' on my trip down made this journey feel like a piece of cake … (my toenails were still intact, after all)?  Maybe it was a little of both.  

To them, the seashells I gave to each one when I got home was a souvenir of where I had been.  

To me, it was a symbol of that wordless-wish I sent with the Sun that night on the beach in Naples.  

 © Houseman 2013