We traveled to the edge of the word, to where the sidewalk ends, and there, on a beach of sand and shell, we settled for the night.
Sea oats rustled behind and the ocean crashed in front and we built a fire in a ring of smooth stones to push away the coming darkness.
Sunset blossomed before us, reflected on the water in a prism of tropical hues - coral and tangerine, hibiscus, mango and flamingo and then iris as the daylight finally drifted away. Soon, all that was left was the faintly glowing sand, warming our feet, and the purple-black of the moonlit sea, white caps rising and reaching toward us out of the darkness.
We curled around the fire, around each other, the heat of the blaze and the push and pull of the tide drawing us closer together.
Kissing in the sand, an echo of our wedding day, we held each other close while the sea rose and fell, rose and fell, flames illuminating our faces beneath the vigilant eyes of a faithful moon.
When distant lightning split the sky, we pulled apart, growing watchful. We stared expectantly upward as a breeze rose, whipping palm fronds into a manic dance. Clouds scudded in a rush past the moon, a frenzy of sharks come to tear apart the night. The roiling clouds gathered above our heads and blotted out the stars. Air crackled with electricity and the low growls of thunder crept closer.
Lightning crashed close and the sky broke into a million raindrops, so we dashed for the cover of our tent, falling through the flap in a tangle of limbs and laughter. We were young, and surviving a storm on the beach was novel, exhilarating.
On my knees, I peeled my soaked shirt over my head. In the light from our tiny lantern, you reached out and ran one finger between my wet breasts, down my mermaid-chilled belly and down lower still, hooking the waistband of my denim shorts. You reeled me in to you, the moon pulling upon the tide. Mouths met, hands explored rain-cooled skin and we soon left our clothes to puddle in a corner of the tent. The rising storm blessed our union. Together, our bodies rose and fell, in a rhythm as old as the sea.
Lightning flashed outside the thin walls of our shelter and thunder crashed mightily around us and you my child, you were created that night, on a bed of sand and shells in the midst of a summer storm. Such a surprise. A perfect souvenir from a primal night.
I look at you now, 13 years later, with your golden-red locks and aqua blue eyes and I know you are made of sunsets and seafoam. And when you reveal your striking passion and dauntless determination, I know you too are a child of lightening and thunder. I love you for your warmth and strength, your bravery and electricity. You are perfect when you when light up a room and perfect when you rage.
Just look at how you were made, my beautiful girl.
How could you ever be any different?