Myrtle Beach, SC

In keeping with the travel theme I seem to have going (and am enjoying), I felt like sharing this photograph today. Several years ago I took a trip to Myrtle Beach with one of my best friends. We brought two of her daughters along who were young enough at the time to still want to go with us, before any tween or teen drama kicked in. We spent a lot of time at the beach and enjoying the sights.

The trip was also memorable for the huge fight my friend and I had on the drive home. Too much time on the road and a conflicting set of priorities put a damper on what had otherwise been a very fun vacation. Afterward we didn’t speak for weeks. It’s a story we laugh about now and one she thinks is quite funny to tell, an example of one of those rare moments of real conflict that inevitably enter any long-term friendship.

But before any of that happened, I remember my surprise and delight at finding the greeting above one morning outside on the sand. Written by some stranger as a simple gesture toward others, people he or she didn’t know, and having no idea who would read them or how small a thing might come to have a profound effect, like a butterfly flapping it’s wings on the other side of the ocean. It certainly made my day, reminding me that somewhere, someone who didn’t even know me wished me well. It’s a memory from the trip that has stayed with me, as much as the argument that later followed.

I know now that many people who’ve taken a beach vacation have woken up one morning to find this written on the sand. Eventually the tide moves in again, washing it all away. But once, for a time, it was there. And I think it’s evidence of the good in human nature that every now and then someone writes such a thing on a beach somewhere, for themselves or to no person in particular, just anyone who wakes up and takes a look out the window.