Walking in the wet sand, you leave footprints. Footprints in the sand don’t last long. The next wave, the next change of tide and the footprints are gone wiped away. Each footprint in the sand a moment in time frozen. As we walked along the beach, I shot a few pictures of those. What if a picture that is a transient item? Does the existence of the photo mean in fact the footprint still exists? That the photo represents the permanence of the footprint?
It is funny sometimes when you can slip back into old familiar shoes with your family. For many years (12) we had lived right across the street from my sister and less than 50 miles from my parents and my other sister. For a time we even had my wife’s parents less than 30 miles away. We spent many holidays at my parent’s house, from Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas we were all together. In 2011 that began to change again. My wife and I moved to Maryland. A year or so after that our nephew moved to Seattle. The change was beginning.
We still gather together when we can as a family. But the other part, the sad thing about that North Carolina vacation was that was the last vacation we were able to take with my father. He died a little over a year after our last days in North Carolina. It is funny how a place can become a memory. How a footprint in the sand or the picture of that footprint represents more than simply the footprint. It is within that footprint that we find everything and nothing. When it is gone, and the only memory is the sound of the waves and the smooth surface of the sand where once a footprint had been, it is time to pause and remember.