Though a serious thinker.. and ever the seeker of wisdoms elusive. Godfrey was a poker under stones at low tide, enjoyed leaving poetry strewn about for others to find.
He had a lifelong impish side, and oft over coffee in a cafe’ read to me an obituary, one that told of a life lived extraordinary. He marveled at all lives, felt no one ever insignificant. “Everyone has their story, this is one over donuts Godfrey told me.
Marry me Verne- words scratched deep in sand with a stick or similar sharp tool. I looked up and down the beach, it was empty save a Heron at one end, wading patient in a tide pool. The tide was very low as I strolled and came upon the next message- “Kiss me you silly man, put a ring of kelp on my trembling hand”..
It was a long, wild stretch, several miles to the distant, misty headland. The sand was damp where she had knelt, not disturbed by wind or passerby. No prints but my own big feet bare, but for the next message , no sign that Verne’s true love had ever passed by there. Verne, she wrote, “Oh marry me do, I shall be your Stella Maris, little star of the sea, such an adoring mollusk are you, my Verne”
Verne, I thought, best catch up with your bride, before all is lost to the incoming tide. The compelling mystery could not keep me from a dip, and frolic in the warm ocean clear. Left my kilt on a rock safe and dry, for truly there was no one to peek at me nearby.
Cooled from my swim I meandered on, not bothering to dress. Clothes over shoulder, message at my feet, in big mannish letters- the word YES!. You may notice, Godfrey gravely looked into my eyes, (dunking quick my donut he had swiped because he always did and when would I learn) “In the obits, every day passes on a chap named Verne.
There is always a Verne, devoted husband, and I oft wonder if he is the Verne who’s name was, so long ago etched in the sand. I was used to people, when in public looking oddly at myself and Godfrey. I plucked my donut from his rascally hand, told him it may not be ours to understand, we can only wonder of the romance in the mystery, wish Stella and Verne happiness, celebrate them in poetry, tell the world, theirs was a story.