There was this girl who was sort of a groupie for the band I was in. The single life was beginning to wear on me, but I wasn't sure what to do about it. She was OK, but there weren't going to be any romance novels written about it; you know?

Maybe it was turning 30. That's a big moment a whole lot of you noders are going to have to deal with one day soon. Oh, yeah, it'll come sooner than you can realize. Can't you hear Time's Winged Vacuum Hoovering around your ears? Listen.

Anyway, I've been through living with one girl for six years and blowing that off, rather hastily, considering the time involved, I might say (now). Then I lived with another girl, off and on, for three years; I'm still haunted by that one. After that, just a series of girlfriends, chance acquaintances, fitful one-night stands.... You know all about all that, I guess. I hate details when it comes to this kind of stuff.

But this groupie girl and I have been going out for around a year, and she asks me to go with her to visit a married couple who are old friends of hers down in Gulf Shores, AL. I'm all up for a trip to the beach; who ain't?

We get there and he's a real nice guy; a dentist. The wife is a sweetheart who is pregnant with their second child. And there's this other thing in the house. A thing I am not quite used to. It's a little girl, around three years old. Her name is Sarah.

We stayed there around three or four days. Every time I'd be in a room alone (I like to be alone sometimes; don't you), here would come this little girl. She had a toy flute that was almost like a real flute. She'd play a little tune, and then she'd hand it to me and I'd play a little tune. She didn't say a whole lot, but she'd just look at me in a way that I'd never been looked at before. I could have drowned in those little eyes. The depth in there was enormous. She was stingy with the smiles, but those were another sort of marvel that took my breath away when they happened.

My entire life was changed in a way that it's never been changed before or since. It must have been the way some folks feel when they get Jesus. I had only one thing that I had to do now. I had to find a good woman to marry, and have a child, who would be a girl, and I would name her Sarah, and she would make it all right.

There was so much that needed to be made right in my sorry life.

Part Two