‘He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.’ Psalm 33: 6-9
February 24, 2018
Though my alarm is set for 4:20 and Ed’s for 4:30, a safety measure agreed upon the evening before, I find myself awake at 4:05. This is what my body does or maybe it’s the tiny perfectionist sitting in the back of my mind. Leaned back on two legs of a rickety chair grinning while happily pressing silent alarms. I wake with purpose springing from the bed, okay I don’t spring – carefully placing my feet patiently and firmly on the ground beneath me. Mindful of my movements, careful not to move too fast for fear of hurting myself in some ridiculous fashion, I make my way to the bathroom.
I ease into my morning routine as Ed remains in bed for a few extra minutes. I rest easy under the hot water of our shower, an oasis of cleansing waters renewing me, mind, body, and spirit. Water is an amazing gift, especially for those who seem to bathe in the energy of it all. Those often found drowning in the ugliness of the world around them. I clamor for moments like this, often finding myself showering three times a day. I have my best thoughts here. I feel free here. What is it about water? Ed wakes and we trade out the shower, making sure to turn the water towards cold before he steps in. He prefers it.
With camera, water, and banana in-hand and a packed trunk, we head East towards the beach. A straight shot down highway 192 to Indiatlantic – ‘no need to complicate things.’ I realize I forgot to check the forecast last night and worry we may be driving into a nightmare. Just then we drive into a steady sprinkle and I quickly check the forecast. ‘Only 1%, what the heck!’ It takes me a second to decide it simply doesn’t matter. We have a plan, God’s plan I’m certain, and we will stick to it.
A 60-mile drive from our house, the beach sits before us as we wait at the red light. I glance around, and I feel it, I felt it as we crossed the causeway, the encompassing comfort of being near the ocean. A peace that I cannot articulate but I feel it every single time. This is heaven on earth, I have no doubt. A gift. A reflection of God’s undying love. I recognize this feeling from my adolescence. Though I didn’t attribute it to God then, I see it now. There is an energy here that embraces the lost and sensitive souls of this world – an energy that brought us together over 25 years ago. An energy that heals our wounded hearts over and over again.
There’s a cool breeze about 20 mph as dark clouds sit scattered throughout the sky above. Ed spies a shrimp boat on the Eastern horizon. I notice an absence of clouds where there usually sits a bank of them. The sun will rise this morning without obstruction. ‘Interesting.’ I’m in awe of the hues of pink bouncing off the sea of clouds before us. We team up setting up our folding chairs tucking away all we need to keep safe. I grab my camera as Ed scurries towards the waves. I adore watching him in these moments. ‘It’s been too long.’ This is why I asked him to leave his fishing gear at home. It was a hard-sell, but I wanted him to focus on us today. With his fishing gear around, his ADD will not allow him to focus elsewhere. Luckily, he agreed.
I mindfully make my way towards the water, looking left and scanning right, I seek the perfect angle. I’m careful to balance out my time behind the camera and living ‘in the moment.’ No need to get lost while trying to capture memories. I find it better to capture in quick bursts, as to allow for time to lean in. What’s the point of it all if we don’t actually experience it? As I snap a few predawn shots under chocolate skies, I watch Ed moving with the waves. He runs after the waves as they recede, eagerly digging his hands into the sand. He lifts them up, grinning ear to ear as the waves come crashing in. He flees quickly, stumbling backward as he giggles. He’s in his element. He’s happy!
The waves hypnotize me as I kneel to snap a few shots of the sun breaking through the horizon. A perfect half circle in the distance. A clear skyline beaming with shades of pink and brown. The waves draw me in. I’m mesmerized by the foam that follows the flow of the waves. I’m continually trying to capture what I see as the train of a bride’s beautiful white wedding dress. I am equally entranced by the reflexive wash of glass left behind as the waves retreat. The mirror in the sand, a direct reflection of God’s glory, that’s what I see.
My senses are on fire here. I watch and listen to the waves crash with delight in rhythmic wonder. A rhythm my heart craves. The breeze blows and I feel the ocean on my face. I inhale and ingest the beauty of this moment, a moment not lost on me. We make our way to the car to secure my camera and we head back to the beach. Leaving our little chairs sitting in the sand, we head south along the water. Couples hand-in-hand, sunrise watchers and dog walkers alike making there way up and down the beach. A small gathering of souls seeking refuge in the awe and wonder of new beginnings.
As we walk I take notice of the sanderlings engaged in a hypnotic dance of seeking and fleeing. Ed tells me how they’re chasing sand fleas and he does the same once again. Returning with a handful of sand, he careful sifts through to show me a tiny white crustacean-looking creature. I imagine this is what a flea looks like under a microscope. I try not to be creeped out as Ed insists I ‘touch it.’ I do what he asks and realize my fear was unnecessary. He smiles and throws the creature into to the ocean. We continue walking as we traverse the sand and sea, careful to keep my shoes dry.
We are at peace here, absent of all fear and shame, we are whole here. We glance to the right spotting one of my favorite sights, an assembly of seagulls. Black-legged and laughing gulls present and accounted for in multiples. Every time I see them, I imagine a business meeting of squawking heads as they systematically turn to face the sun. A synchronistic flow of energy timed to the pace of the earth. Most see them as a nuisance, I simply see another gift from God. We glance up as groups of pelicans soar overhead, flying in formation as they skim the water. ‘This never gets old,’ I think as we make our way back, taking our spot in the sun. We sit side-by-side as we soak up the scene before us; taking an extended moment to truly communicate with one another. Something we desperately need – these are the moments I live for.
Photo by ME