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Last year, for Christmas, we went to the beach. South Padre Island, to be specific. I got to spend Christmas Day on the beach, and it was amazing.

We drove to the place where the road ends and got out and walked and walked and picked up seashells, then we rode to the other end of the island, where the land ended, and walked, and picked up seashells, and saw birds, and took a dolphin watch cruise, and in general, just opted out of the commercial side of Christmas.

Whenever I feel the world pressing in too closely around me, I just look at these pictures and remember when we went to the place where the road ends. I remember the Christmas that was about enjoying the world I live in, with the souls I love the most. I remember the awe I felt as I stood on the beach and watched the gulf crash into the shore, and I remember the tears I cried as I stared at the beauty my creator wrought. And the world recedes, and my heart knows a moment’s peace.