EVERY ROAD There you go making mountains Out of such a little hill Here I go mixing mortar For another wall to build There's a struggle in this life we lead It's partly you It's partly me, but Every road that's traveled Teaches something new, and Every road that's narrow Pushes us to choose I'd be lying if I said I had not tried to leave a time or two But every road that leads me Leads me back to you Here we stand in the middle Of what we've come to know It's a dance, it's a balance Holding on and letting go But there is nothing that we can't resolve When love's at stake When love's involved, 'cause Every road that's traveled Teaches something new, and Every road that's narrow Pushes us to choose I'd be lying if I said I had not tried to leave a time or two But every road that leads me Leads me back to you Salt Water I can't remember the first time my parents took me to the ocean. I'm the youngest in my family, and beach vacations were already a tradition in our household by the time I was able to travelby car, of course. Just hearing the word vacation now conjures up memories of those overnight drivesmy dad preferring to travel through the night while my sister Carol and I slept in the backseat. I can still hear the sound of my mother's unscrewing of the thermos lid and pouring Dad another cup, the comforting smell of black coffee wafting through the car. The quiet of the lonesome highway. Summer weeks at the beach have been part of every stage in my life; throughout all the changes of many years, the oceanfront constantsdrip castles, body surfing, people watching, long walks, soaking in the heatremain. I've collected starfish, sand dollars, more shells and pieces of sea glass than I can count, and even rescued a baby octopus a time or two. An old friend and I have often reminded each other that there's not much a little salt water can't cure, whether from the Gulf or the Atlantic or a bucket of tears. Before I developed my current shark phobia, I couldn't just sit and watch the water. I had to be in the salt, in the sand, with green slime and crushed coquina shells stuck in the lining of my bathing suit. Those waves have rolled me up in a ball and sent me crawling on my hands and knees out of the surf and onto the sand, hoping my bathing suit was still intact. I have watched the sun rise and set on the ocean, many oceans, across many seasons. I've watched the water by starlight, marveling at the fluorescent green breakers at midnight. Watched it in the heat of the day. Listened to its crashing roar that I love so much. I am drawn to it and afraid of it. It reminds me of the power of God's creation, and nobody has to explain it to me. Nothing about it is diminished in my absence. I inherited by marriage three nieces, who by the time they were almost in high school had never seen the ocean. I couldn't believe it. They had seen it in National Geographic magazines, seen it on postcards, seen it on television, the intro to Hawaii FiveO. But not the real deal. I quickly developed a plan to change all thata place to stay, a car full of gas, and a map. We made it a girls' trip, my nieces, their moms, and me. The old Highway 98 into Destin, Florida, runs along the beach for a few miles. Like the way many of the old beach towns are set up, Destin features the ocean on one side of the highway and all the places to stay on the other. After a sevenhour road trip, we drove into town toward the end of the day. The afternooGrant, Amy is the author of 'Mosaic Reflections on a Life of Grace', published 2007 under ISBN 9780385522892 and ISBN 0385522894.