Every now and then the universe gives you a gift.
It’s a well-known fact that I’m not a beach person but this week I’m at the beach.
I came for the family time. I came because there are over twenty of my husband’s family members here, gathered into three houses, all enjoying each other’s company in a little quiet beach town. Almost everyone here is an in-law to me, but for simplicity purposes I’m going to do away with that title. I married into this family 39 years ago, so “in-law” doesn’t quite do the love any justice.
I came for early morning coffee conversations with my sisters, for evenings out on a deck, that overlooks the ocean, little ones running around with sand covered feet. I came for the wine enjoyed with nieces that used to be way too young to join us but who are now “adulting” quite nicely. I came for the fellowship that accompanies shared meals with brothers and with Mom and Dad.
And I came for walks on the sand.
My very first morning here I noticed an outcropping of rocks way out on the beach strand and decided to walk there. When I’m home I pray while I’m out walking and the day before, my travel day, I hadn’t done that, a most unusual occurrence for me. I had some catching up to do, so the distance was welcome.
I was headed for that little strip of darkness you see on the horizon of this photo. It was mid-day but this end of the beach was almost deserted and I was alone with my thoughts. For most of my walk I was concentrating, being aware of where my feet were landing, not wanting to stumble in an unusually deep tide pool, or step on an errant jagged seashell. My eyes were either looking down or looking out at the ocean.
Except for that one moment when I happened to look up towards the dunes and saw this.
Who the heck puts a mailbox out on the beach? And look, the flag is up. How could I not go up there to open it?
As I approached, the first thing I noticed was the writing on the side.
There had to be a story here and I was not disappointed.
The mailbox was stuffed full of journals and pens.
With the thoughtful addition of a pair of reading glasses because really, how many of us have those with us out on a relatively deserted beach?
I spent a bit of time with the contents of the journals but didn’t have a camera with me, so returned with my son and his fiancé a few days later to share it with them and to leave my own message, along with a few Instagrams. And to document, because that’s what I do.
As it turns out, the Kindred Spirit Mailbox has been in existence for 34 years now and is quite famous in Sunset Beach.
But on the day I found it, I knew nothing of its existence, and it felt like the world had simply deemed to reward me for being on that beach and for looking up towards that dune.