|A time capsule in Moss Beach|
Open the plastic tub and the letters spill out, along with three family photographs and the cork from a single bottle of champagne.
“Dear whomever may have found this letter. … In reading our letters today I hope you realize how important family traditions and family vacations are. There is nothing more important than family. And as I begin my own family in 20-something days, I cherish the annual trips we made and look forward to bringing my children here one day. …”
The letters tell a story from six points of view. Together they form a free-verse love sonnet, retelling memories of each other and the hills above the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, where the tub was lovingly hidden not so long ago. A hiker ran across the plastic container and brought it to the Review office, thinking it might make a nice human-interest story. I accepted it, with the understanding that he would return it to its rightful place.
“This is a very special place (where) I can hear my kids’ voices laughing and giggling. My kids are now in their 20s and hopefully will bring their kids here. When I leave this earth, I want part of me to spend eternity here, playing with those little voices of my kids…”
The letters are all hand-written and clearly come from members of one tight family. They say the family started coming to the Coastside in the late 1980s and tell of child’s play in the ocean waves and adjacent wooded hills, where kids who are now adults remember days spent hunting for Dracula in what they called “Sherwood Forest.”
“We brought cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents here once or twice, but this is our special place. … We came here today to celebrate my 50th birthday and I came up with the time capsule idea in part to forever mark our special place. … In my heart, my four little kids will always be running and playing in this forest.”
The accompanying photos are from 1998 and 2012, respectively. Family photos sometimes withhold hidden secrets, but these are an open book. This is the kind of family that cherishes day trips with each other. You want your family to be like this family.
“Whoever is reading this, I want you to stop, look out at the water, take a deep breath and take it all in. This place is so amazing…”
It’s easy to forget. Sometimes it helps to see what is right before you through the eyes of people who do not call all this home.