The Changing Tide

The Changing Tide

From Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul

The Changing Tide

Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.

Robert Browning

I could feel the cool sand rising between my toes as we neared the water, my hand in my boyfriend Mark’s. In the distance, fishing boats returned with the day’s catch while shrimp boats were headed out for the night. Living near the Louisiana coast, Mark and I looked forward to our occasional strolls along the shore after a candlelit dinner. It was always romantic and especially so this beautiful night.

As we walked and talked quietly along the water’s edge, I noticed a line in the sand at our feet, curving in and out and looping here and there. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but then it dawned on me that the line was forming letters.

“Hey! There’s a message in the sand!” I pointed it out to Mark. I looked forward and back, trying to make out the words. When I looked to Mark for help, I saw excitement on his face.

Suddenly I knew. My mouth dropped open, and I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. I looked up and down the beach and saw it clearly now. “Will you marry me?” was written in the sand, waiting to be washed away by the rising tide.

Mark beamed and motioned me toward the question mark further down the beach. I ran to it and found a large spiral-shaped seashell lying where the dot would have been. I picked it up. Something rattled inside.

When I rotated the shell, a diamond ring fell into my hand. I turned to Mark and found him on one knee at the edge of the surf, the question burning in his eyes. My acceptance was obvious as I ran to leap into his arms and embrace him with a kiss. Within minutes the tide swept away the words of Mark’s unique proposal.

Nothing, I thought breathlessly, could ever be as romantic.

But I was wrong. Over time, I’ve discovered romance in the most unique places.

Watching Mark change diapers and rock the baby to sleep, catching him washing a sink full of dishes, even seeing him fold clothes can take my breath away. Or our time together when the baby sleeps and we put on pajamas and soft socks and head for the couch. During commercials, we toss popcorn into each other’s mouths and rub toes. He tells me he loves me, I tell him the same, and we Eskimo kiss.

Sure, sometimes the only candles we see now are the ones on our daughter’s birthday cake. And our strolls along the beach are replaced with treks through the grocery store aisles. But I’ve learned that romance can always be found where love is—even between two socks. And that kind of romance no tide can ever wash away.

Michelle Marullo

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