I relish the fact that I live near the ocean. We are lucky souls, indeed.
Yesterday I had some work to do near our ocean town, and instead of heading back inland when I was done, I headed even farther out to catch the impending sunset before it was too late. It was 4:30 pm, and the sky was already a bright red, the sun on fire as it made its descent.
I got caught behind a car full of teens, obviously taking the speed limit signs literally , and then some. They were driving 10 miles below the speed limit, and the guy in back kept looking back at my impatient car getting closer and closer. I remembered my own nervousness once upon a time when I was a new driver, intimidated by the winds and curves, and the threat of driving straight off the cliff, and I backed off. But I feared that I would get to the ocean too late.
But when I arrived at the first and most popular beach, the sun was still a bright red orb just barely touching the ocean. I got out of my car and made my way down to the beach by way of the stairs. Halfway down, a blond haired guy in his early 20’s sat there smoking a cigarette. “Beautiful sunset, isn’t it?” he asked me, and I agreed. “The only reason I came here,” I replied. “Me too!” he said back. I half decided to stay there with him and be sure to catch the last chance I had to just stand there and enjoy the final descent. But I kept on going.
Part of me regretted my decision, as the sky was empty when I reached the sandy beach. But when I reached the ocean itself and saw the miracle of God in the pink clouds and swirling seagulls, I wrapped myself in peace and greatfulness.
Alone on a beach with God, the only other people in the form of couples a safe distance away, I sang songs of praise into the wind, only heard by me, the waves, and God. And I breathed in life in the form of sea air. And I thanked God once again for my life, for freedom, for all the gifts being showered upon me. I am whole.