As promised, Day Seven in my Week of Winter Walking takes us to sunnier climates, where my mom and dad are walking the beaches of Sanibel Island, Florida. Most years, I’m down there with them, but due to irreconcilable differences in spring break schedules (our break and our daughter’s are a month apart), we couldn’t make it this year. A beach would have been my preferred walk for the last week of February, but at least we can live vicariously through my mother, who wrote this beautiful post about walking and memories.
As our daughter (Robyn) is walking the streets, alleys, parks and various points of interest in and around Madison in the last week of February, her father and I are walking the beaches of Sanibel Island. To say that there are some differences in temperature, appearances, sights and sounds would be a gross understatement. What is similar is that memories can be built and stored anywhere.
What we see we’ve seen for the last 26 years (24 of them with Robyn). Endless shells litter the beach everywhere. Waves that are anywhere from gently lapping to pounding the beach sand. Occasionally dolphins are spotted playing (or maybe that’s feeding) in the surf. All types of shore birds are everywhere and over the years the spotting and cries of a bald eagle overhead have become more frequent. And of course the multitude of magnificent sunsets and, when motivated, a sunrise too.
But what I see most of all are the memories. I see my children grow and mature with each passing year. I remember the fun times we’ve had walking the years and beaches of Sanibel together. Next week we will get to start new memories with our 16 month old grandson. I hope he will have the time of his life just as his aunts and father did and will walk away from the island with the best of memories.
Just remember that memories can be created any time and any place and most important, they can last forever.
If you’re wondering, yes, this did make me cry. And miss my parents. And the beach, of course. Luckily, we’ll be heading down to Sanibel in October during our fall breaks, which are a little more cooperative.
This concludes the Week of Winter Walking. February is over at last, though it’s hard to tell with the snow still falling outside. In March, it is possible to begin to believe that the winter will actually end. And eventually, perhaps, there will be a Week of Summer Walking.