We've been down this road before, he and I. We travel down the interstate, just the two of us in a car packed with a couple of suitcases and the excitement of time alone. I notice the exit sign for the city where we spent our first night as man and wife. I think back to that long journey for our honeymoon and how the hours were lost in the endless conversation of two young lovers, giving voice to dreams of a new life. Unsure of everything except each other.
We pass the billboard that reduced us to giggles all those years ago. Nearly two decades later it still looms tall over the road, no worse for the wear. It remains a private joke, a talisman that marks the beginning of our life together. I wonder how many times we've quoted that billboard to each other over the course of our marriage. It reduces us to giggles still.
At our destination the next morning, I draw back the curtains to discover what the darkness hid at our arrival.
How many times have I looked out at an ocean - this ocean - with him? I've lost count. The years have slipped by like grains of sand. Gray hair and wrinkles find us in the mirror. I consider the magic of my hand slipping into his, fitting just as snugly as I imagine it did the very first time he took it. Although I can't recall just when that was, and that makes me sad. I don't want to take any more moments of our lives for granted; don't want to lose memories that I should be storing up like treasures. Yet there are so many already gone, faded into long ago sunsets and washed away by rolling tides. That, too, makes me sad.
The days away come to an end at just the right time. We are eager to return home to the melodic rhythm of daily life. To a girl who called us so often that it hardly felt as if we'd left. To a home that is our haven.
We pack and begin another long ride filled with endless conversation of two old lovers, giving voice to dreams of a new life. Unsure of everything except each other and God.