I'm fresh back from a wonderful week of vacation (thanks Chris for guest blogging last week - great post!!). I went on a cruise and visited three tropical islands. By odd coincidence, the stop in St. Thomas fell on Daniel's 41st birthday. This coincidence is only odd because St. Thomas was one of his favorite places, and I'd never been there. We'd intended to go together, but as life would have it, we ran out of time. When I found out our port on his birthday was in St. Thomas....I decided it was density - I mean destiny :) I was psyched.
I remember Daniel telling me about Magen's bay and how beautiful it was, so we booked an excursion to the spot. Before you actually go to the beach, the tour takes you to Drake's Seat, which overlooks the bay (picture above). It was a breathtaking view, but that was to be expected. What was unexpected was the intense feeling of borrowing a memory from Daniel for a moment. I was struck by the idea that for just a moment I was seeing something only he'd seen.
It might not sound that incredible, but we started dating at 16, and neither of us had a lot of adult memories that didn't include the other - this memory was one we did not share. I have his photos of the trip, and his journal that he kept of it, but I've not seen it for myself. Sitting at the lookout and staring down into the bay was like a short trip down Daniel's memory lane - like looking into the Pensieve in Harry Potter and pulling out a specific memory belonging to someone else. I was sad for moment, but mostly wistful. It would have been great to have been a part of that memory, not just a borrower of it.
I was on vacation, so I made a memory or two of my own. Magen's bay did not disappoint, and swimming in the clear Caribbean water and laying on the beautiful white sand was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. It was the perfect spot to be on that day, and I'm glad destiny brought me there. Happy birthday Daniel Dippel, it sucks that you couldn't be here to celebrate it, but somehow I feel like you managed to celebrate somewhere anyway.