Hello beloved friends of Mrs. Gore’s Diary! Long time, no see! The holiday season has whisked me away, as usual, and I realize about every other day, with a start and a gasp, that I still have an important series over here, just waiting to be finished (if you’re new here, you can catch up! Here’s Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six).
With that in mind, this will be the last installment of my Nantucket series for the time being. I still have a few fun stories to tell about our trip, but I am momentarily tabling them until I can write in the unhurried and inspired manner that this tale – and my mom’s ongoing birthday gift – deserves. As soon as inspiration strikes and my memories are burning a hole in me once more – and I feel SURE that will happen – I will be back with part EIGHT of our Nantucket tale!
One last time, let me thank you EVER so much for joining us in our memories in Nantucket. You have made this recollection that much sweeter with your kind words and excitement. Forever grateful I am. ❤
Now…to the sea!
The first thing my mom did every morning at the Wauwinet was wake up, get ready for the day and, then, waking me up so I could follow suit, she’d slip downstairs to the gorgeously bedecked back patio with her Bible study materials so she could spend some time with the Lord.
I forced her to let me take a picture. 🙂
It’s easy to have a daily quiet time when you’re in heaven but, then, my mom has a daily quiet time no matter what. She has notebooks and notebooks filled with her prayers and notes, she has Scripture memory cards scattered to high heaven, and that’s actually just another of the things I love about her: she is faithful to the Lord and His Word in season and out, not just when she’s luxuriating on the back patios of resorts.
I, on the other hand…well, daily-sanctified-work-in-progress, with high hopes of being just like Mama someday.
Quickly showering, slapping my make-up on and finger-combing last night’s washed and styled hair, I would scurry downstairs to find her as soon as I could, and it did my heart a thousand worlds of good to see her there, surrounded by the tranquility of this seaside respite.
She might faithfully study the Word every day, but what an awesome backdrop she had here, the rolling waves of the ocean bringing repeated crescendos to the excellent and holy Word of God that she has built her life upon. What a blessed pause in this topsy turvy life.
The Wauwinet had an adjoining restaurant where a full breakfast was available for diners, but in a small room next to the bar, complimentary coffee and pastries were available for the inn’s guests every morning.
We went complimentary.
A few mini muffiins and a tiny bear claw later, we’d hop upstairs to brush our teeth and we were OFF for the day!
My heart squeezes within me to recall our next adventure.
Donning slip-on sandals and flip flops, hands free of everything but mom’s tiny wristbag and my giant camera (that you KNOW went with us everywhere we went!), we set out on foot to explore the private beaches of the Wauwinet.
Now, when you are researching your Nantucket vacation and you first see the rates for the Wauwinet — especially if you are in the middlest of the classes as we are — your jaw might drop to the floor to imagine ANY room, no matter how luxurious, costing that many precious dollars.
But during our experience, I quickly discovered that it was not just a room we were paying for, no, not at ALL. We were paying for the most serene room we’d ever been in. We were paying for a conscientious staff who was devoted to our comfort. And, more relevant to this blog post in particular, we were paying for a secluded and pristine piece of land that we had the freedom and the right to stroll upon, to skip upon, to run upon, to LIVE upon, for as long as we were renting that room.
We were nervous, to be sure, when we claimed our Wauwinet reservation from behind a computer screen in Oklahoma, and it was all definitely booked with blind faith and a lot of prayers, but after the property had been ours for three nights and four days, after we’d explored and relished every corner to our heart’s content, it had undeniably been worth every penny and maybe a couple more.
On my more dramatic days, I’m convinced that I would happily live in a lean-to if I could spend a week at the Wauwinet once a year, and you might agree with me after I share with you our seaside adventure!
A short walk down the paved drive that ran beside the inn, the instructions from the concierge being painstakingly followed by our easily-lost feet, Mama and I took a right turn on a pebbled path that mozied beside a small collection of beautiful seaside cottages, and…
there it was.
Like, I’m talking THE fence.
What was “THE fence” you ask?
It’s funny that you ask, because…
I don’t know, really.
It was just an important fence, and I knew it when I saw it.
Also, it was beautiful.
I’ve never been one to swoon over fences, but this fence was different.
Promises that something special was ahead seemed to hover about its pickets. Were we about to find the end of the rainbow? The pirate’s hidden treasure? A pearl in an oyster?
See what I mean?! What a FENCE, right??
And aside from all the magical skin-prickling it produced in me, it was also eerily familiar, and I can’t really put my finger on it even today. Had I seen this fence…or at least one like it…in a magazine, perhaps? In a movie? In my DREAMS?!
Who knows, but here it was, beckoning Mama and me to follow its slats and find the sea.
The pebbled path morphed quickly into a deep, immaculate sand and our shoes immediately had to be abandoned. Giggling, holding on to those glorious pickets, we adjusted ourselves to this new and challenging surface, and the two of us clumsily made our way, laughing like children, over the little hill that would deliver us to the attainment of all that the fence was promising.
And THEN we reached the top, and we really and truly were at the end of the world.
I know that your teachers told you that the world is round, but I’m telling you, it’s not.
It’s so totally flat.
And wherever you are, if you will just start walking (and then swimming a little) until you get to Nantucket, the world will come to an end and then there is nothing but sea and then heaven.
I know, because I saw it with my own eyes.
We didn’t have a sailing vessel at our disposal, or we most certainly could have drifted our way to Beulah Land that very afternoon!
As it was, we were content to play on its shores, toes dipped in its shadow, hearts full with the knowledge that eternity was just around the corner and that it was very beautiful, indeed.
Now, when I shared the following pictures on my Facebook page last year, I think the common assumption from friends and family was that my mom had never seen the ocean and her uncontainable joy was based on the realization of that dream.
But that’s not quite true. She has seen the ocean several times, in Texas, in Seattle, in Florida, and she has played in the sand and she has sat on the shore.
this Nantucketly view…
this was HER ocean.
We all have aspects of God’s handiwork that involuntarily set our hearts on fire…for some it’s mountains, for some it’s a newborn baby, for some it’s a certain type of animal, for some it’s the tropics, for me it’s the homeplace…
but Mama had lived all over the United States as a child and she had journeyed through 40+ years of serving her family and her church and the days had been full and busy and there had been triumphs and there had been disappointments, and this place…this unvisited but always-seen place in her imagination….had somehow been deep inside of her all along.
And now she was seeing it with her very own eyes for the very first time.
I, by the crazy, unbelievable grace of God, got to be there to witness it, and the tears stung my eyes as I watched her acquaint herself with the sea of her heart. Like the God she serves, it was big and mighty and unpredictable and awe-inspiring yet still gentle and wooing and soothing.
And beside it, so tiny in comparison, I saw the GIRL she was, not just a mom, not my dad’s wife, not a cook or a cleaning lady or a baby-sitter or a nursery worker but…a child, dearly loved, of the Most High God.
It was like watching a real-life interaction between Aslan and Lucy, alone in the world, and I will never, ever cease to be grateful for God’s sovereign plan that picked me up and transported me across the country so I could carry this memory for the rest of my days.
All girls should get to see their mom turned inside out like this, to behold her soul with sight, to catch a glimpse of her heart as it danced on the shores of Nantucket…
Will we ever go back to this tucked-away place on the map, the place where our spirits communed so deeply and our friendship was cradled by sky and sea and sand?
We want to…
but we don’t have to.
We took a vote, and it was unanimous: when they are this powerful and sweet and point to endless days to come, memories are more than enough. ❤
Anyone else need a tissue now? It doesn’t matter how many times I go back and relive this experience, it strikes me with holy wonder and gratitude and LOVE! How wonderful will eternity be, when all is made right and we are free to live in the beauty and unity that was intended for us. I’ll be back soon with other non-Nantucket blog posts I’ve been working on – in the meantime, you can keep up with Mrs. Gore and family on Facebook and…breaking news…Instagram! See you there!