Posted by: Kara Luker | November 21, 2018

Until we meet again

On my walk this very beautiful morning, I was reflecting on another one several years ago, possibly my favorite among thousands. It was during a time I lived as a single mom with my parents in Costa Mesa. During the week, I only had time for a few spins around the block during my lunch break at work, so on the weekend I often indulged in a long, rambling walk to the beach on the “river” trail down the street from our house. It was nine miles roundtrip and thoroughly satisfied my body and mind. Cole, probably 10 or 11 at the time, generally preferred to spend his Saturday mornings relaxing at home, though sometimes I would find him walking down the road to greet me upon my return and join me for the remaining distance home… always a delight to my heart.

But this one day, I was only a mile or two into my trek when he called to tell me he was coming to meet me. I backtracked until I found my boy approaching barefoot on the pavement, where I gave a quick shrug and smiled at his unconventionality. Despite the unforgiving surface on his tender feet, he seemed so happy to be there with me. My lungs breathed in the sweet satisfaction of having the person I loved best in all the world join me in what I most loved to do, en route to where I most loved to be. I exhaled all that goodness and, together, we turned toward the ocean and trekked on.

river trail

What we talked about as the miles passed, I have no idea. But talk, we did. And laugh. And walk and walk until the waves could be seen in the distance with the sun dancing a happy jig on their surface. And though I knew we should turn around to spare Cole’s feet, it just couldn’t be done. We were being beckoned; adventure called; the intimacy of friendship was at hand.

Finally, the river bed became full of the waves coming to greet us and the trail became grainy with sand until there was no trail at all; only a thick ivory carpet beneath our feet. The reflection of light on the water was now as bright as heaven’s glory and the sound of the waves surrendering themselves to the shore as beautiful as an angels’ choir. We had arrived.

This was where I would normally sit on the stone jetty, letting my mind rest and my senses take over, before having to turn away from bliss and start my long walk home. But not this day. It couldn’t be done. With Cole’s naked feet, there was no turning back to that hard, pitted pavement now. Besides, our adventure was not fully realized; our energies not fully spent. There was nothing to do but accept the gracious invitation of the welcoming shoreline before us.


So continue on, we did. Running up the small sandy bluffs as they collapsed beneath our weight. Dipping our feet, mine now bare like his, into the cold, sparkling water that teased its way up onto the shore. Watching kites maneuver through the breeze in the clear skies above. We were way too far away from home to walk back now; what a freedom! All we could do was to surrender to the moment; this shared experience as friends… and walk on.

After many miles, we arrived at the pier. Our energies were finally spent; our adventure nearly complete. With no money between us and no way home, we dialed my brother, hoping he could provide the ride our weary legs yearned for. He answered – thankfully – and was just wrapping up lunch with my brother-in-law. But, yes, he said with a kind laugh at our predicament, he would be happy to pick up our penniless, satisfied souls and drive us home. And so he did. We got home, put up our feet and tucked away the sweet memory.

For 22 years, Cole and I got to share a path, unforgettably wonderful in so many ways, but the ground beneath his feet often felt unforgiving to his sensitive soul. He had tread too far to turn around and retrace his steps home, but unlike our walk that day, he also felt too much uncertainty to continue on. He thought he had reached his final destination, not realizing that his adventure hadn’t been fully realized.

I’ve also come too far to turn around. It’s been a journey of miles upon miles, but there are many more to go, for which I’m grateful and excited. Because I’m being beckoned; adventure is calling; the intimacy of friendship with Jesus – and so many others – is at hand. My energies aren’t yet spent. There is only one way to go and it’s forward… to the delights and glories ahead.

On the day that my adventure is over, my purpose is fully satisfied and I reach my final destination, Cole will once again run up the path to meet me. We will pick up where we left off, talking and laughing and exploring like we did that one magical day on the shore. But in the meantime, my dear Cole, please know that it was my greatest pleasure to be your mom and your friend. Not a day passes that I don’t thank God from the depths of my heart for the gift that you were – and are – to me. I can’t wait until just the right time; that sweet day I get to see your smiling face again.


  1. ❤️

  2. ❤️✨❤️💫❤️

  3. Beautiful.

    • Thank you!

  4. […] was into this quiet, a day after writing about my magical walk with Cole, that He spoke. He reminded me of how deeply I was moved when my much-loved son wanted to join in […]

  5. […] by my mom. But in between those two events was a visit to the beach where Cole and I took a magical walk long ago. My prayers for sun seemed fruitless as the forecast remained overcast… a big fat cloud […]

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