seafoam between my toes
I reach my arms to the sea
my thoughts ramble and turn to you
summer breezes and rocking chairs
crashing ocean waves, music to our ears
beachcombing, scooping fingers snag treasures
scallops, lightning whelk and fighting conch
mollusks covered in silken moss
seashells bring sweet memories
grateful for your presence
counting my blessings
as I hold close
Colleen Keller Breuning © 2023
March 17, 2023
Sláinte!!! I hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day yesterday! Dan and I both had to work all day, but he stopped by Wegmans and got me some salmon to make Salmon Teriyaki, baked sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus for dinner. Yum, that has become our favorite meal! So that was our St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
I wrote this double etheree poem yesterday, thinking of what my lucky charms are and how to integrate the challenge prompts this week. Well, my family and cats are my lucky charms, of course! Lucky charms are like treasures, and for some reason my thoughts turned to how I would beachcomb and search for shells at Captiva Island. The place is a mecca for shells, the entire beaches are covered in them early mornings after the tide has come in. When we lived in Florida, we went at least once a year for a family vacation and have wonderful memories from those trips. I collected bucketloads of beautiful shells over the years, and I remember giving some to my Dad years before he got sick with cancer and passed away. He kept some of these shells in his cigar box of treasures, along with various photos I’d taken of the Captiva sunsets, Europe and other trips. I had always hoped to take him to Captiva someday. But it was not to be.
When Dad passed away, I put one of the fighting conch shells that I’d collected on his gravestone. Everytime I would visit his gravesite, the shell was still there, surviving all the snow, summer weather and gusty winds. It was originally a smooth and shiny, and it had a bright orange pink color. It faded to white from the sun’s bleaching over 19 years. One time last year when my Mom visited him, she noticed it was gone – either blown away, picked up by an animal or disposed of by the groundskeeper. It brought me comfort to see it there for many years, so I really need to go back and take him another one of these shell treasures.
Though Dad never got to see the beauty of Captiva in his years on this planet, he sees it all now. The beach reminds me of Dad… we spent wonderful Keller family vacations at Chincoteague when I was younger. In 1987, we took Vince to Ocean City when he was just a toddler. We stayed at the old Lankford Hotel, and I will never forget summer nights on the porch. He would smoke cigarettes, rocking in the big rocking chairs, and we just sat together silently, listening to the crashing surf. It was such a wonderful memory that stays with me always! I wrote a poem about it called “The Lankford” back in 2005 or 2006. I also wrote of the Captiva seashells I gave to him in the poem “Fighting Conch” in late 2000’s. Both of them are featured in my book “Shadows of My Father.”
And so for you, Dad, here is one of my favorite Irish sayings:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 37.14 Topic: Lucky Charms
Hard Bonus: Mention an Irish saying in your blog (Sláinte!! and The Irish Blessing)
Easy Bonus: Include 3 different shades of green (aquamarine, seafoam, moss)
Wow, that is a lovely double etheree full of imagery and emotion. Beautifully done – KUDOS, Earthling!
Beautiful Colleen. Such reverence and love in your memories of your father. Hugs to you and I really love the sound of your St. Patrick’s Day Dinner. Yum.
That’s so sweet! Love the poem. Hope you are well!
Wonderful memories of your dad and shell collecting on the beach!