Finding My Emerald Coast Valentine

Finding My Emerald Coast ValentineAfter Moving to Florida, One Man Meets the Girl of His Dreams

By Michael Ferguson

What better place is there to share love than the Emerald Coast? Its white sandy beaches and clear emerald waters collect the shining sun in a way that provides the perfect setting for love. My move to Florida was the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and I hoped the story being written would include her. The one.

I felt such an intense love in my heart and wanted so badly to share it. Already, since my move, I had developed a love for my surroundings that resembled the love for a woman. In fact, I felt my new hometown to be love personified. The soft white sand was like her skin, the ocean wind and waves her voice.

At night the starlit sky was her sparkle and the big round moon an eye opening to see me in a kiss. The transparent emerald waters were like her soul offering its full depth and purity to me. Without a doubt, I’d found paradise – and finding someone to share it with couldn’t be far behind.

So I looked for love. I looked along the soft white sand and at the water’s edge. I looked in the swanky shops and ritzy clubs. I was on full alert when gathering groceries and on my trips to the post office. I looked everywhere, knowing that around the next corner or under the next beach umbrella she might appear.

Then I found her. Shock was my first reaction on the beach that day. Every particle of sand must have hoped she would place her next step upon it. Every head certainly turned to see her walking by, but it was my eyes, connected to my heart, that met hers in a stare.

Somehow, we joined in conversation. Somehow, it led to lunch overlooking the sand and the sea. And surprisingly, somehow, my heart managed to oscillate between starting and stopping, and my mouth formed the words I actually intended to say. How, I do not know. I surprised even myself.

From the moment she had first entered my line of sight, I was captivated. But it was only after her words began to flow that my eyes were truly opened. She spoke with such purpose and direction. It was as if each word embodied part of her within it.

And I realized something. More than I had previously admitted to myself, a void had existed within me. I noticed an emptiness being filled as she poured herself into me with her words and her image. I realized how much I longed for the give and take of good conversation with a beautiful woman. And the simple joy of watching a smile develop upon her face was a treasure all its own.

The weeks to follow had us together at seemingly every opportunity. And I was different. I walked differently. I felt differently. My eyes noticed things that had never appeared to me before. Possibilities were endless.

And still, just as I was surprised when we had first met, I wondered how my voice didn’t break when speaking to her. I was amazed that my knees didn’t buckle when I stood. Somehow, even with all the butterflies flowing within me, I had confidence. She gave that to me. She made me better.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into a month and a month into two, and our moments were shared together. I began to wonder if at last I had found the love I had been searching for.

Then one night, while walking up the path to her door, a thought occurred to me. Of all the great questions that have been asked or pondered – “Why are we here?” or “What is the meaning of life?” – as she opened the door, the only question I could think to ask was, “Emma, will you be my Valentine?”