The pickup lurches to a stop and we clamber from the truck bed to the river.

There’s only a moment to take in the panhandle panorama until someone’s chasing me through the sandy shallows. I shriek and run, but she is faster and I emerge laughing, dripping. Then it’s a mud fight until we all collapse waist-deep, grinning.

The late-afternoon sun settles on the surface, and the warm wind carries a dozen sighs of contentment. Hands buried in sand, hair dripping with river water, worries left on some other coast. The laziness gives way to another bout of wet-sand warfare. We dry out in the sunshine, tie our hair up, and prop our sunglasses on sun-touched noses.

It’s time to leave the bright current, but before I can make it back to the truck, I hear splashing steps from behind and try to escape, but my yelp drowns in the river one more time. We pile into the truck bed barefoot and ride home through the white dust.

Our collarbones are burnt red and my salt-soaked, windblown hair might never be the same, but it’s a beautiful kind of mess and we savor the joy. The Arabian horses canter across the ground to our left.  Texas sunshine pumps through our veins and the disarming warmth creates space for something beyond water and sunlight to stream across my soul.

Redemption calls.

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are.

– Sara Groves, “Add To The Beauty”


4 thoughts on “Golden.

  1. Beautiful expression and emotion, Noelle.

    Was this a real experience? If so, it sounds like a blissful afternoon!


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