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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Star Crossed

By Kristine Scholz of a shelter from the storm

Forty years ago, my parents and younger brother and I vacationed in the little town of Waldport on Alsea Bay in Oregon. A quiet little burg along Highway 101. It wasn't one of the more popular tourist towns tucked back from the Pacific Ocean. We'd rented a cabin-style unit in an older motel for four days.

It wasn't a vacation I wanted to go on. I was 17, my younger brother 11. My parents were going through some particularly hard years in their marriage and the air in the cabin was thick with tension and bickering.

My brother and I escaped to the long stretch of beach that skirted the bay. The tides came and went with a quiet ferocity. There was no surf - we could spot that off in the distance at the mouth of the bay. But sea lions bobbed about when the tide was high.

Sea birds skittered and cried overhead. We skipped rocks out across the smooth surface of the water. For siblings with six years between us, we got along remarkably well.

Towards the late afternoon of the second day there, we befriended two brothers and their sister. They had shrimp guns and we amused ourselves by screwing them down into the wet sand and extracting small sand shrimp. Nothing worth eating.

We might've built a sand castle. But as the sky was streaked with apricot orange and pink sherbet and we were standing together in a circle looking down at the shrimp gun, another pair of bare feet entered into our tight orbit.

My gaze moved upward until I found myself staring into the most incredible pair of golden brown eyes I'd ever seen. They belonged to one of the most handsome young men I'd ever encountered.

We stood transfixed as that moment in time stopped for the length of a heartbeat. Sound didn't register. We created our own personal universe. And when he said, "Let's go take a walk," we headed off down the shore.

One of the brothers yelled, "Hey, where you going?" but I didn't look back.

I don't know what my father sensed. He'd been standing there off to the side. But when my younger brother began to run after us, Dad called him back and told him to leave us alone. And when the two of them headed back to the cabin no one called for me to follow. I stood in the cool wind as the sun went down and became acquainted with my soul mate.

It wasn't love. What teenage encounter at that age is real love? But until the moment he entered into our circle, I had still been a tomboy girl. I'd had no serious crushes. And this wasn't a crush. It went deeper than that.

Is there such a thing as chance encounters or does everything that happens to us in our lifetime happen for a purpose? Was he there to help me cross the chasm from childhood into the moment when I became fully aware of myself as a young woman? I don't know. But I do know it was magical.

We sat up half the night, hunkered down against the sea wall to block the cold wind blowing in from the sea. We never kissed. We never even held hands. But he told me, "If I were to die right now, it would be okay because I'd know you were still here in the world."

As this memory came to my mind tonight, I remembered his name. I did a Google search on him and it surprised me he was even real. And he is alive and hopefully well somewhere in southern California where he is a high school teacher of fine arts. That seems very fitting for him. He had the soul of a poet.

And I will leave it there. I have no desire to contact him.

But he will always remain the apparition who seemed to flow in on the tide. Who made a young girl feel pretty and worthy of the attention of a handsome young man for the first time in her life.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a beautiful memory in a beautiful story to carry through life.
Michigan Grandma

It is a beautiful story and well told. It is a treasure to hold tight and keep you company through the years - as it has. So wise to let it be - it has its beginning and ending. Thank you for sharing.

What a beautiful little story..you are a great writer..thrilling all the way to the end..what a lovely way to start the holiday ahead..wistful or wishful thinking, both catch in my mind..would that we all had those breathtaking moments, even once...thank you for sharing..

Awe - such a magical moment you shared with us. Thank you, Kris. We never know who or what it will take to make us notice change, but change is good.

What a wonderful way to cross that chasm between teenager and young adult. Oh so romantic, thanks.

Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments. Today is my birthday, so having this published today is a rare gift and means so much to me. And to have it touch a place in your hearts as well warms mine to the core.

Happy Birthday. A sweet story, and I just enjoyed some of your posts this morning when I put a photo of my writing space on Ronni's blog post for those, and spent some time checking out other people's spaces.

Wonderful memory. I think that you had a special moment that moves beyond the normal. Great piece of writing.

Your self discipline, or whatever, is greater than my own curiosity. I would have to try and make contact...just to satisfy my curiosity about years gone by.

Awesome and so beautifully told Miss Kriss, if I had such an encounter at 16 I too would have felt blessed, I admire your decision not to make contact, what's past is past.. or is it? Stroppy

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