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The insistent sun pushed the mercury higher than my comfort zone—a trip to the beach was called for. I sat on an old tree trunk near the cliff and watched the swells of the ocean, grateful for the cool breeze stirring. The sound of the repetitive waves lulled me. I closed my eyes and let my mind drift. I remembered the times I had brought my four children to this beach, back when they were young. The memory filled my heart with joy, but also with sadness, for those days are gone forever. How I longed to have them back, just for a day!

“I’m getting older God,” I whispered. “My time is running out faster and faster it seems.”

God put His hand on my shoulder. “Time isn’t moving any faster, Sparrow.”

“But it feels like it is. I want to hold onto things now, slow everything down,” I said.

“That’s because you appreciate life,” God explained. “You understand that impermanence is built into my creation.”

“Yes, I do. That’s what makes so many things feel bittersweet.”

God pointed to a break in the cliff where a stream worked its way to the ocean. “People are frightened of impermanence, but they needn’t be. You see, the river isn’t lost to the sea. The two of them go on together, ecstatic to have found one another after so long apart. So it is with your lives. You’ll be happy when it’s your time to return home, to go on within me.”

“That may be, but it’s hard to think of letting go of this life, of the people I hold so dear to my heart,” I answered, unexpected tears pooling in my eyes.

“I know, Sparrow,” God said gently. “Enjoy every moment. Don’t waste time with anger or regret. Forgive. Extend grace to everyone, including yourself.”

“I will do my best.” A tall swell crashed onto the sandy shore, the sound reverberating off the cliffs. I savored the sounds, the salt air, and the cool breeze, for I knew, in an hour or two, I’d have to leave. And in time unknown, I’ll have to leave this body and join God for the rest of my journey—the greatest adventure of all.



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