This, from Birds reader and long-time friend Ellen Mendlow:

“Instead of standing on the shore convinced that the ocean cannot carry us, let us venture onto its waters, just to see.”
-P. Teilhard de Chardin

One day I went to tea and met a couple just celebrating their 1st year in a relationship. They’d met at work – he shy and she nervous and both coming off failed relationships. Celebrating a year in Cape May

Seconds after I took the sunset pictures a young couple approached breathlessly begging a photo of them…I was annoyed to be interrupted in my solitude. But the girl beamed “we’ve just been engaged” and I relented taking several pictures against this beautiful backdrop.  They literally had just pledged 15 minutes before…and had told no one.

That night, I woke suddenly from my sleep and though I should have stayed in bed I really, really felt I wanted to go to the shore, so in a half conscious stupor I got up and walked across Ocean Drive. Three doors down were some young folks having a party and they were also headed to the beach. Again I felt invaded in my peace (at 1:30 AM no less!)…but I followed a girl in a long white dress—she’d been married  that day and, still in her wedding gear, was headed with her party for a late night plunge in the ocean. I told her about the other couples I’d met and the sense of seeing the whole story (courtship, commitment, wedding) in one weekend…how I got up just in time to witness this  — she said it was the best story she’d heard and she regaled her wedding party with it all night.



Mike Wing
05/11/2011 16:42

Lovely. Just lovely. Makes being alive feel... nice.

Ellen Mendlow
05/11/2011 17:13

Thanks Mike! Yes being alive and at the beach is very very nice. Would that life were this way always.

David Purdy
05/15/2011 13:59

Really, really beautiful. Thanks for this.

05/15/2011 15:04

I love an engagement, a wedding, a young vow. They make me feel like someone imagines the world as I once imagined it: A place with a magical future.

Life is good.

Ellen Mendlow
05/17/2011 07:47

@David P--thanks nice of you to say. I hope that hopeful energy is good for you.

@Nance me too! Maybe the world is always that place with a magical future just waiting for us to activate it with our stories and observations.

05/21/2011 06:02

The beach and romance. Wonderful stories, beautifully told. We hope those young couples will forever remember the magic of those early days - and make new magic over the years.

Jacqueline Schwab
09/06/2011 10:15

Lovely story and photo, Ellen!


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