That Night in La Jolla
This post is a part of a short story series. Click here to read from the beginning.
We’d made it to our Airbnb in San Diego by the late afternoon. Once we unpacked the car and settled into our room, we asked our lovely host for dinner suggestions.
The local barbecue restaurant she’d suggested had a really long line wrapped around the building. We were too tired and hungry to wait, so we ended up at Olive Garden. After dinner, I suggested we walk along the beach and maybe try to find the seals our host had mentioned.
We were enchanted with the charming town as we coasted up and down the streets looking for a parking spot, eventually parking curbside on a quaint road with big, beautiful houses perched on the cliff’s edge.
As we made our way down the sidewalk, we passed a group of girlfriends gathered around a blanket with a bottle of wine, and a young couple lounging in the lush green grass, surrounded by rose petals and deeply engaged in conversation. I wondered if we’d stumbled on a proposal.
We eventually found a set of stairs that led down to the beach. I promptly kicked off my shoes so I could feel the sand between my toes as we made our way to the rocks. As my bare feet searched for sure footing on the slippery stone, something shifted in me.
Everything about this setting, from the gorgeous scenery to the perfect climate, to the sense of connection and community I’d witnessed, resonated with me.
And in that sense, a place I’d never been before felt completely familiar. Not the kind of familiarity that comes from the life you’re use to, but a familiarity of the soul, the heart’s recognition of the life you’ve longed for.
Looking back, it was as if God brought the vision I’d clung to for so long to life. I finally had tangible proof it was not just a wish. This kind of intentional living was real. It was quite literally the substance of everything I’d hoped for.
I turned to Matt, my heart bursting in my chest, “This is what I want.”
There was concern in his voice as he recognized the resignation in mine. I wondered if he was afraid I wasn’t going to return home to Texas with him. I surprised myself when I realized I didn’t want to.
I was no longer willing to go back to life as is where all the offerings of the life I craved were admired from the outside looking in. Seeing what could be plucked me from the sidelines and placed me smack dab in the middle of a living, breathing love note from God himself.
As the last bit of sun light started to fade, we pulled ourselves away from the beach and returned to the Airbnb for the night. The three of us promptly changed into pajamas and slipped under the sheets, excited about seeing more of San Diego the next day.