Part of me wants to just post this picture and not add any words or captions to it because I feel certain I can't do justice to all of the emotions that are wrapped up in the day/moment of this picture. There are some moments that as they are happening, you know you will always remember every detail of - and this afternoon at the beach in Charleston this past weekend was one of them. I'll be honest that I was not looking forward to this trip to Charleston because I didn't want to travel, felt like Emerson was still a little off kilter on her schedule and from being sick and the introvert in me seriously considered bailing and sending Terry alone; but we knew it would be a great time with friends and love Charleston and haven't travelled together like this in awhile. If for no other reason (but there were other reasons), this brief afternoon at the beach made the trip totally worth it.
When we got there, the wind was whipping around like crazy and I felt bad because I was sure that Emerson was going to hate it and that we were going to go sit in the car and play for an hour so we didn't make everyone else that rode with us leave early also. (Which wouldn't be the worse thing in the world for her, because Beth's minivan is
Emerson loves to carry something small around in her hand with her during the day - preferrably a pebble, acorn top, small piece of bark, piece of dog food that didn't make it into Sadie's bowl (Beth's dog). So she immediately found a seashell [seen clutched tightly in her left hand above] and took it with her running across the beach, chasing the birds and running back and forth between John, Kat, Terry and me. She ran after the birds and flapped her 'wings,' calling out after the birds, "Fly, fly!" Terry tossed a little piece of food out in front of where Emerson was and the birds swarmed her. She was THRILLED and went back and forth between running around in the chaos of their flapping wings and standing still, bending down low and taking it all in. I kept worrying that she was going to panic, but instead she would just crouch down, very still, and wait for them to fly higher or to make a path for her to walk through.
I felt like I was watching a scene from a movie. I could not snap enough pictures fast enough, take enough video or wrap my mind around the scene fully. She looked so tiny on this huge, mostly empty, beach on this windy day, surrounded by these birds and just loving it. Her little chubby legs looked so precious as they worked so hard to run around with sand stuck to the bottom of her feet and dusted on her legs as it stuck to the suntan lotion. Her bow flapping back and forth in the wind and her big curls in the back of her hair getting tangled and wind blown; her little dress wrapping around her as the wind blew, and the look of pure delight and joy on her face like this was the coolest thing she had ever been a part of. I adore every part of this little girl - all of these tiny little nuances about her and moments spent with her. These were especially great moments. I hope that the Lord will use them to remind me over and over to be open, to wait on Him, to open my heart, and to be reminded of the way He pours His heart out over us. Because as much as I love this adorable little girl, He loves her so much more. We want nothing more for her than to know that fully in the quiet moments of her life, in the depth of her heart, as well as when the chaos surrounds her - I pray that in those moments she will always be able to be still and know.