I stood in the middle of the spot that used to be where I’d spent most every day in the summer when I was a kid. There was only worn concrete left with holes in it where the columns used to stand that held up the long gone palapa roof coverings above.
I stood all alone unnoticed by the few people around as I gazed squinting from the sun and heat where I’d devour the blazing days of summer as a kid, not realizing they were the ones doing the slow devouring.
The grounds still looked nice, not as big as I remember. The water still looked the same, the cliffs I jumped, dove, and did flips off of didn’t look as impressive as they did all those decades ago.
I took note of the time, midday. “Where’s all the kids”? I thought to myself. “This place should be swarming with kids by now.” One of the posts I published awhile back about the story of some of my friends and me stealing a sailboat as a kid happened at that spot. “Sailboat Cove” is gone now along with the store and the cabana.
Proof of part of my childhood has been wiped out… That was the spot to be. It was the farthest point on the island to get to, but it didn’t matter, it was the “in” place, never mind the inconvenience.
Sometimes we’d hitchhike and catch a ride all the way to the popular hangout. Other times our thumbs brought us no luck so we’d take the shortcut through the State Beach, then through the Marina illegally, and swim the channel to arrive where everyone else was going to be.
It’s kind of peculiar how people flock to be in the same place as others, especially as kids. As all things change, I guess so did the hangout spot for kids. The beach paradise is void of kids, probably chased off by the owners of the resort so that the kids wouldn’t chase off the paying customers. It’s a different world now…
I’m sure the structures were tired and showed signs of their age. Like us, the aging, a lifetime of squinting in the Arizona sun has left it’s effects even on us, the group like all groups who thought we’d be eternally young.
The buildings as I recall were proud, bright, and right smart structures sheltering us, the kids of that day, but like everything else in this life, things wear out.
Change is imminent… That one guarantee we have in this life is the one we fight with all our might. In the end, we all lose that battle. The constant fight for life at all costs consumes our generation and yet while structures and people are surviving longer, we all grasp the inevitable.
I also recall those old structures that are now long gone witnessed some pretty ignorant acts over the decades as well, a few even by me… Proof to the fact that God really does watch over us.
One day, like me, all the people born before me will take their turn entering the other dimension. My race will come to and end on this side of eternity. I will one day lose the battle like those old structures that provided when we were searching for shade on the sandy beach.
The choice and understanding here while on this side of the decaying curtain will decide the victory over the war for our soul. We all will one day lose this battle of our flesh, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose the war.
The war for our souls has already been won. We just need to endure this battle and bring honor to the One who’s fought on our behalf.
I remember the details of the structures, the paths to the lake, sand, the buoys, even my burning feet being tossed into the air while I sat on my butt to relieve my poor feet from an underestimated heat and an overestimated ability.
I miss those landmarks in spite of the fact that they witnessed my folly. When I consider landmarks and shade it’s impossible for me to not consider my dad. He was a shade tree that help correct, protect me and lead me from some of my folly.
When my life becomes just a memory, I’d be honored to have the ones still running their race to think back with fondness of days as they remember the shade that God allowed me to cast on their lives.
As they remember the shade and the time spent together, like me today, may it bring a peaceful smile to their faces.
I hope they realize the shade cast by all things in this life is temporary…
The only true shade and rest cast that lasts forever is from the mighty hand of God…