This past weekend, we went to the beach. A quick visit. Less than 48 hours.
We ate too much, talked too loud, cut each other off, wouldn't sit still long enough to take decent photographs, and didn't put on enough sunscreen.
For the first 24 hours, I was definitely not "living in the moment."
I was worried about a friend in pain, sending wishes for peace and wisdom.
By late afternoon on Saturday, I felt my heart finally arrive at the sea.
I accepted the invitation to sit. To listen. To laugh. To read. To wonder.
To give thanks for the sun, the sand, the clouds, the strength to stand and walk in the sand,
for eyes to see it, ears to hear it, and a heart in which to treasure it.
Color. Texture. Scent. Sunshine. Rented umbrella and chairs.
Mai tais. Creme brulee. Bagel sandwiches. Milk chocolate turtles. Ice water.
Wordless awe before indescribable beauty.
Tiny birds with the impossibly fast and spindly legs.
Watching a bird make its way across the beach from surf to stairs, from shell to stick,
oblivious to all the people was a reminder that sometimes the small things,
the tiniest details are the ones that create the biggest and best memories.
With fires, floods, earthquakes, bombings, corruption, greed, war,
sorrow, isolation, loneliness, meanness, fear, and anger
flowing ceaselessly around, through, and in the world,
last weekend I was reminded to stop taking blessings for granted,
to stop ignoring the need to make changes in situations and relationships that are failing,
and to pay close, clear attention to what is happening in my life.
I took several long, hard looks at what is real in my life these days.
What was real on Saturday included the splendor of the sea,
the gentle rhythm of an early September day on the South Carolina coast
and the precious moments of solitude when I was able to ponder it all -
I found myself saying, "thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
the skies proclaim the work of God's hands.
Day after day, they pour forth speech; night after night, they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Enjoy the little things. One day you may look back and realize they were the big things.