We just returned from a week-long trip to Disney World, Universal Studios, and Cocoa Beach. We spent about half a day at the beach, and it was so lovely. It’s been several years since I’ve been to the beach. It was the first time my kids had been to the ocean, and they loved it.
I did not see a beach until I moved to Thailand at the age of 11. During my years in the Thailand, I typically went to the beach twice a year. Thailand has some gorgeous beaches and ocean water, and Hua Hin was always my favorite vacation spot.
The beach is such a magical place to me. I remember sunrises and sunsets over the water, falling stars above the ocean at night, floating in the salty waves. The gentle roar of the ocean, the soft pillow of wet sand. Being in the ocean under the wide sky was always where I felt closest to God, right in the midst of the “waters above and the waters below”, in the middle of His creation. I could almost feel His breath.
One of the places we often went for vacation was called the Juniper Tree. It was a beachside bed-and-breakfast-style vacation home for missionaries in Asia. It did not have all the comforts of a hotel – it only had cold running water, and there were “community” bathrooms. But it had its own charm – a library full of books attached to a deck that overlooked the ocean, a game room (board games and ping-pong), a few “porch” swings nestled in the yard, bikes for rent, and a private beach area. I found out that the Juniper Tree still exists, although they have either rebuilt or relocated in Hua Hin, and have a second guest home in northern Thailand. The Juniper Tree from my memories is gone now, I suppose. But that little beach and that gorgeous ocean will always be my favorite.