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Michelle Warner

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Memories Grand in the Sand

Posted on August 6th, 2012

I had the fun opportunity to help lead a Youth Writing Camp at Miami University a few weeks ago. I have led these camps for seven years and they are one of my most favorite things to do. We each had to publish a piece by the end of the week to submit for the anthology and below is the piece I wrote during the week. It is based off of a type of poem called an “Around Poem,” an autobiographical poem that lists memories of your lifetime in any order. I decided this time to base the poem around my many memories of the beach. Enjoy!

Memories Grand in the Sand

Around 1982, my parents introduced my twin brother and me, just barely two years old, to a tiny island called Fripp Island, South Carolina. Little did they know what a treasured place that beach would become for me.

Around 1992, I sat around the table with my Grandma and aunts after the sun retired behind the South Carolina ocean and worked a puzzle. I still love putting puzzles together to this day.

Around 1995, I drove along the Pacific Ocean on the tree-lined 17-mile road to gaze at the seals and the scenery. I always said I would return and last summer when I soaked in the sites another time I realized it was still as beautiful as I envisioned in my mind.

Around 2002, I spent a few days with my college roommates at a cozy beach house in Florida for our senior year spring break. The deep conversations and memories made there will last a lifetime.

Around 1984, while vacationing at Fripp, I made a faith decision that has influenced my life ever since.

Around 2006, I walked on a breathtaking beach path as the Hawaiian water crashed against the rocks, spraying me with sea foam.

Around 1987, I rode my bike with my family around Fripp at twilight, counting the many deer and alligators we saw. We lost count after sixty.

Around February of 2007, Jared gave me a present on the Florida beach. I unwrapped a mirrored frame with a poem inside. My heart fluttered when I read the last line, “I love you.”

Around 2010, I gazed at a vibrant rainbow in the sky over Fripp’s waters. That rainbow brought me deep solace as my heart and body healed from chemotherapy. Every time I have seen a rainbow since I have found great encouragement.

Around 1999, the sun glistened on the Costa Rican water as I pondered the lessons I’d learned while living in a new country for the summer.

Around 2011, my family celebrated Thanksgiving together at our beloved Fripp Island. The thrill and terror in my two-year-old niece’s eyes as she met the ocean for the first time was priceless.

Around October of 2007, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Jared asked if I would marry him. Boy, am I glad I said yes.

Around 1990, my cousins, uncles, and I used flashlights to navigate our way as we walked on Fripp’s shorelines at night. The crabs scampered at our feet, dancing in the shadows.

Around 2008, I promised my forever to Jared at Fripp with the sun shining overhead and the waves roaring in the background. There wasn’t even a cloud in the sky.

Around 2013, I will take my baby daughter to Fripp Island and introduce her to the beach that has shaped my childhood memories and punctuated my adult experiences. Oh, the new adventures and milestones that await our growing family!

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