Last week I featured Sean’s work and books and I shared a story from his blog. If you missed the first part, please click here.
Now, for the second half of Sand…
I am a woman, a mother, and an artist, and my past does not define me. I fought like hell to get here to this moment and feel these colors. I earned this ocean and this light. I paid the price with tears and years and parts of me I should never have surrendered.
I hear a laugh behind me, a joyous hearty thing, and I spin, my toes digging in the sand and the sun on my face and smile at the man I love and want to spend the rest of my life with.
He is not the same man I built castles in the sand with.
And that makes all the difference.
Dawn comes slow and warm, the surf an easy whisper on the beach. Lying on my back beneath a sand dune, the sky is turning from black to gunmetal gray, becoming something new, painted with swirls of pink and orange until the sun breaks on the horizon. I’ve always loved to watch the sun rise; it’s a wondrous transformation, as darkness surrenders to light. A kind of rebirth which only comes through time.
Endings are really beginnings; I often forget that. I remember it now.
The fresh sea breeze soothes my soul and there is the taste of salt and the coming sun on my lips mingled with peace. The kind of peace you don’t know you need until you find it again and see how much you’ve been missing it.
I am a writer, and I’ve sacrificed much at the altar of love. The love of words, and the love of a woman.
Maybe that’s how it had to be.
Sometimes when you meet the love of your life you know it right away; that’s how it goes in the movies. It wasn’t like that for me.I didn’t know it until it was too late.
I met her in Nashville years ago, rebounding and hurting and she helped heal me. Made me feel loved and safe. There was a whirlwind romance with this unlikely woman from the deep south with wild hair and blue eyes and a hunger in her I found intensely desirable. Within six months of divorcing my previous wife of many years, I found myself married again, an expectant father and stepfather of two girls, living far from home in a new town.
I wanted to be that guy. I really did. I wanted to believe.
I wasn’t ready to meet her, but it happened the way it did and went to hell from there. I hung on through kids and demons and heart break, inflicting my own upon the way. Resentment grew in that void and bitterness festered. There were actions and reactions until it was impossible to know what was true and what was false. It’s not an uncommon story, and I wish I’d written a better one for my life, mine and her’s.
We hung onto each other and our children through years of quiet desperation. Clinging to the hope that one day things would change, that light would break through the looming clouds and we would feel that shine on our hearts again. That God would bring purpose and healing to us together, not individually. To our family. That our faith would sustain us.
It happened for me, but it never did for her. I only thought it did.
On a perfect day right before the blue sky fell, the sun was gold dust glittering on the water and in the air and we were a family. I recall the sense of wonder and glory, savouring that moment with my children in the waves, holding hands with my wife, a deep gratitude and awe in me that things were good. I can wrap those memories around me now and hold them tight.
Just because we wish a thing to be true does not make it so.
I defined myself as a father and a husband and an author, and it’s been a process to remake my life and my existence. I will always be a dad, and being away from my boys for any time has wounded both me and them. I’ll always be a writer, too and I embrace that part of me. Words don’t keep you warm at night, though, don’t hold you when you are crushed.
She was my muse and best friend, inspiring me, making me a better man and better author. It’s an anguished thing to loose, knowing that that has faded away. I hope forgiveness finds me. For the moment, there is peace. There is hope in the growing light.
The tide eats the beach and blue waves claim the sand as they have forever, and when the wind blows right and the ocean calms, the sand blows up onto the rolling dunes and the beach is born again.
The sky is bright now and I turn away with a certain wistful sadness; I’ve got pages to write. Later, I’ll come back with my boys and we’ll build a sand castle. The memories will remain long after my footprints are gone, and they will be true and good.
A big thank you to Sean T. Smith for allowing me to highlight his work on Book Tuesday. As always, please visit his blog and say hi. I’m sure he would love to hear from you. I am also putting his Amazon link and I do hope you take the opportunity to read his books. They are incredibly good!
Thanks for reading.
Sean’s blog is https://seantsmithauthor.wordpress.com
Sean’s books can be found on Amazon at