Hindsight is 2020

The sapphire glow of autumn dusk settled over the Upper Bay while a behemoth steel cargo ship stealthy glided past the tree line into the canal. The smoky scent of bonfires on shore drifted across tranquil water reflecting a gunmetal sky. Flags on docks lay limp and a subtle screech of cicadas buzzed throughout the woods. The best summer of my life had concluded. God only knew if there would be another even remotely like it. The world had changed, and so had my life.

We were about to go to bed when she called me into her bedroom to swat a bug. It was a natural part of life on the river. We had just made it back to the pier before sunset after a day spent exploring coves and anchoring the jetski at our favorite swim spot. Night now brought an elusive chill as summer began its descent. I didn’t want it to end.

I could have never predicted or planned it. God’s hand was all over it. The best things come from Him. We make our plans, but it’s He who determines our steps. The world was shuttered, locked in, and in terror. We were liberated, frolicking free, and in bliss. Most of that summer was spent on the Chesapeake. The bay was our oyster, literally, and one time when we were walking around the outdoor exhibits of the Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s on a bright sunny day, I told her I wish I had a boat to explore every nook and cranny.

“And I’d be your first mate!” she said, beaming at me with that matchless smile; my favorite part of her. She did not know it, but those words meant a lot. We ate seafood at a waterfront restaurant lined with sailboats. There was no line or wait, there never was anymore. The roads, the waterways, the world… was ours.

One of the best days that stays ingrained in my psyche like a permeant stamp of blessedness was when we met at the shopping center on Kent Island. Another gorgeous summer day, all to ourselves. We consolidated into one car and drove down the Eastern Shore to Assateague Island to the tune of country music and conversation regarding the bizarre and ridiculous state of the world.

“Pony land!” she exclaimed as we crossed the bridge onto the barrier island. Known for herds of feral horses and pristine beaches, we swam in the ocean, trekked through marshes, and watched a brilliant sunset on the bay side where we walked in a wide expanse of two-feet-deep warm clear water. She happened to snap a picture of me kicking a discarded mask on the shoreline. The shot summed up my bitter disdain for the entire pre-meditated and well-financed psychological operation. In retrospect though, I realize how much it actually meant to me. I didn’t see it at the time, but it was the catalyst that pushed my faith over the edge it always needed to go. My life was ending, and God’s life in me was becoming more clear. The time was also forging in me, ever so slowly, what it truly meant to love someone. Only in hindsight can we see clearer, and when I look back now I marvel.

That night we stopped for dinner on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD, laughed at some of the people and conversations around us, and headed back west across the Bay Bridge to Annapolis singing songs about boats, our skin salty from the sea and in need of a shower. Another time we met in the historic Eastern Shore town of Cambridge for breakfast and went on another costal adventure. God knew what I needed, and He provided so beautifully. I had a loyal companion, someone who wanted to be around me, and in whom I was finding my best friend. Earlier that year, at the onset of the planned-demic, I lost a lot of friends for speaking up and pointing out the very blatant hypocrisies and inconsistencies in the botched narrative. We were experiencing the death of free speech, expression, and thought in real time under the guise of safety and the common good. But out of all those friends who parted ways with me, I gained one, and she was the only one that mattered.

Cruising the curvy roads through Elk Neck State Forest in my Uncle’s latest restored car, we blasted the speakers and shouted over each other about chemtrails, the moon, and the newest round of insanity that seemed to hit nearly every big U.S. city at the time. Everyone came out from hiding and took their second major set of marching orders from the media to burn, break, and destroy in the name of social justice. They didn’t want you to go to church because it was “unsafe to gather” but burning one down was permissible. We lived in the upside down. Meanwhile, we ate crab cakes at a bayside shack, our feet in the sand, held in God’s grip, without a care in the world. From the antique shops of North East, Chesapeake City and Havre de Grace, to dinners at Woody’s and ice cream for desert, we were living like we would regardless of the state of the world, but somehow, because of the chaos, the simple things were so much sweeter, magnified, and far more enjoyable. With towels and coolers strewn about my parents’ property, kayaks and paddle boards in disarray, the sun shone brighter, the clouds more vivid, and we were having more fun than we had in years. The world ground to a halt, and we were privileged enough to be in a place to enjoy it. We were unified, laughing, and at peace. There was a sense of oneness because we didn’t have the petty things or the race of life to distract, divide, or busy us.

I remember explaining a parable on a beach, and dinner discussions that led to grace and truth and then eventually, the most heart-warming words I ever heard uttered from human lips: “Tell me everything about Jesus.”

The sun had set, I swatted the bug and closed the door to the apartment above the garage overlooking the river. The last song had just finished at the marina down the street; the Bryan Adams lyrics faintly moved across the water within earshot… “Those were the best days of my life.”

Oh, when I look back now. That summer seemed to last forever. And if I had the choice, yeah, I’d always want to be there. In hindsight, God was doing a grand work in me, in all of us. As Shakespeare wrote in one of his sonnets, summer’s lease hath all too short a date… but thy eternal summer shall not fade.



“And He who formed us with this very end in view is God, who has given us His Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that bliss” – 2 Corinthians 5:5

disciple | impractical daydreamer | creative writer | photographer

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