The early morning sun offers the promise of warmth and expectation.
An indolent day at the beach is exactly what is needed!
Arms laden with a beach bag full of vittles, sunscreen and a towel; I discover the perfect spot to settle in for the day.
Cliffs behind me, ocean before me, sun above me, sand below.
Perfection. Shelter. Peace.
My little space is set up; all is in order and ready for me to be one with the breeze and old-Earth smell of brine and life and decay.
Shoes off, sunscreen on; now to the water.
That is what I see in the ocean; yet also safety, born out of the ancient rhythms of the earth. Forever marching on, steady and unyielding.
The tide’s constancy is relentless, untamable, fierce; all without apology, the ocean does what it is meant to do.
The water laps and rushes and chases my feet; startling and elemental in it’s coldness. Invigorating and inspiring.
The birds, crabs and tiny sea creatures count on the unchanging ways of the ocean, because it is life to them. The ocean gives and these creatures take.
But I think the ocean is also a taker. It takes the worries, stress, fears and uncertainties in life; it takes words spoken and wept and screamed by those who walk the beach looking for answers, solace, peace. We push those things out of our hearts and the ocean pulls them into itself.
A lovely dance.
Perhaps this is what God does for us. He takes all of the fear, rage, worry and tears that we spew out, into Himself and pulls them away from us as we release it all to Him. He is fierce, constant, untamable, mysterious and present. He gives life, He is love; we rely on Him.
Back at my sanctuary, the sand under my legs and back is so warm, relaxing and inviting. It is solid and permanent; warmth leeches into my chilled bones; lulled to a drowsy peacefulness.
With closed eyes and warm sun baking down in pleasant coziness, I notice my other senses stirred; susurrating waves whisper and breathe, birds call overhead; somewhere a dog barks.
That scent of salt floats on the ever present breeze along with other notes of a BBQ and the cloying scent of flowers.
Drowsy and dreamy, my mind wanders in that half dreaming state of blissful rest.
The sun has shifted in the sky; there is a slight chill to the air. How long have I been lying here?
Hunger gnaws, so out come the snacks.
Seagulls make an appearance; they scold and demand that I share; watching closely every move I make. I share.
Before packing up to head back to reality, it’s time for a walk.
There are footprints going before me in the sea-soaked sand and I wonder whose they are and what secrets they’ve spoken to the sea today.
Interesting how before long, all traces of my footprints will be washed away; as if I had never walked here; as if the past is washed away and cleaned up and brand new sand is offered up for a new direction, new footprints, new promises.
Jesus cleans up our lives like this; the old washed away, the new offered up; clean, lovely and ready for a new journey.
Sun dipping down, air quite cool, water coming higher; my signal to call it a day.
Heading to the car I feel rested, new and cleansed; a little wild and wooly from the rawness of the ocean and its wild and chaotic, yet perfectly ordered dance.