Three Places

Awoke to island rain, a soaker you’d call it on the prairies. We hugged in the honeyed light of a kitchen made gritty with the sand of our adventures, and then we drove away from the tall, green house by the river, away into the darkened landscape of a place I’d forgotten how much I love.

Even when my head won’t stop, my heart does, there by the ocean. The dune grass whispering secrets, a lighthouse long asleep, the cries of sea gulls, bare feet in toasty sand—so much sand for miles. Collecting periwinkles and claws, sea glass and driftwood. Climbing the tiers of sandstone to steal a closer look at an eagle, only for it to wing away over the waves and plunge for fish. Wading through warm tide pools. A single, exquisite sand dollar. Bubbly water rushing and retreating, rushing and retreating through the jumbled puzzle pieces of rust-red rock. Nosing over clam shells with my toe to see if the tops are pearly or dull. Cradling a glistening, quivering bowl of purple jellyfish. Fishing for bass beneath the unwavering North Star. Strolling at water’s edge when all that expanse is draped in pink lace, the horizon lost to corn-flower blue, can’t look away, don’t want to turn back, it’s never been so beautiful. And then that very brave moment when you leave behind the familiar and dive into the cold, marbled green of a totally other world, explore the fringe where you imagine you are safe, only crimson lobsters and pale crabs for company. Sunlight glittering above, peach-colored ridges endlessly undulating below. Dare to cross over the sandbar and feel, for a moment, the magnitude of the Atlantic—of every ocean—in the emptiness beneath your feet. You are so small. And so free.

How do you love two places at once? Well, my island boy said, you love a third place even more. But sometimes it’s just really hard waiting for Heaven.

Posted in Blog.


  1. Dear Denise,

    Your writing describing my present home is so very beautiful. A friend, now long gone, may she rest in peace, called this place the “mystical island”. It is very special. My husband and I have experienced so many mysterious happenings since we arrived here over a decade ago.

    Every time I read your blog, my soul comes away refreshed and longing for the peace and joy that only God can give us. God bless you Denise. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences in your writings. Also, God bless your lovely family.


  2. So lovely again, Denise. I love the sea so much as well, but as you do I also live far from it… It is so interesting – I love desert as well, so quiet and simple with its serenity, sand and a call to just leave all the worries and troubles to fade away in it. Just be who I am before my Creator as I am, with all my nothingness in a sprawling land of dunes, stillness and simplicity, nothing to hide from Him, my God, our living God of everlasting life…
    I actually missed your posts a lot, but I understand your position of a busy mom:))))))))))))))))

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