Craig’s connection with the beach and his annual family expedition to the Atlantic shores is when I first had the opportunity to fall in love with the ocean, the sand, the marine life, and the slower pace that comes with it. I fell hard for the ocean being one who grew up with access to the Great Lakes and fresh water. Everyone in Michigan says,” well, our beaches don’t have sharks”. So what does my little kid brain assume? All of the ocean beaches have sharks lined up to eat the swimmers. And let’s not underestimate the influence of the movie Jaws that came out when I was about eight. I wasn’t allowed to see the movie, so I smuggled the book and read it. Horror!!! When I recovered from my false assumptions about the ocean dangers I committed myself to a love relationship with the beach, and I have remained faithful to visit annually without a miss.
When we lived in Delaware everyone disappeared to the beaches every weekend, except us. We took a few vacations in Avalon, and that was when I began to covet a piece of ocean view with a fierce desire that clouded over my good sense. I just begged to have a small condo with a beach front some day, and as soon as possible. I imagined I would spend as much time at the beach as I possibly could with the boys. It never came to be. We moved (four times since then). But in my heart I kept the prayer alive to call some piece of the ocean mine.
Then Africa happened to me. It’s hard to believe but our commitments there somehow dissipated my dream for a beach spot. I never saw that coming. The last three times I’ve been to the beach since being involved in our ministry to help orphans in Uganda, the desire to call it home is gone. Vanished. I even went looking for it, but in vain. I understand in the deepest part of me that when I have more free time, I’ll be in Uganda. It’s really simple.
I haven’t lost an ounce of love for the beach life, that is a sensation that increases each time I visit. But this is what I realized: there are many beaches on this earth. Why would we pick just one? Doesn’t it make good sense to see as many as we can? And who needs the responsibility of maintaining a second home? There comes a strong obligation to visit as often as possible to justify the investment. We could instead just rent places here and there and get to know more of this beautiful planet God has created for our discovery and enjoyment. For example, I hear the beaches in Zanzibar are stunning, and it is a short flight from Uganda. I’m just saying, why limit us to one place?
I suppose the main prayer I ought to make in regards to this beach wander lust is that we never lose our adventurous energy as we get older. And getting older happens to our bodies whether we like it or not, but it doesn’t have to happen to our spirits, our minds, or our hearts. We can make good choices about that. Did I mention Costa Rica has unbelievable beaches? I know for sure Spain and Italy do, I’ve seen some with my own eyes. I really do see Craig and I fully silver, saggy, but not bent, walking hand in hand on the sands of as many beaches as we can find with an airplane.
So, my second home is not going to be an ocean view. It’s going to be on the three acres of beautiful land that Kirabo Seeds just purchased in Uganda. I’ll see banana leaves twisting in the breeze, hills in the distance, chickens roaming, goats foraging, crops growing, and many beautiful happy children playing. Now that’s a view I can never get tired of seeing, and there won’t be some obligation to return, there will be, and is, an unbelievably powerful driving force to get there. I think we’ve found our second home.