Having just had the joy of going to the Gulf coast of Florida to celebrate memorial day with good friends and their children, who are my god-children, I have the ocean on my mind. So please, bear with me as I interrupt our regularly scheduled daily devotional, with a poem from years ago about both memories of the beach as a child and also about the experience of mindfulness on the changing nature of life.
Hope it blesses you!
Your progressive redneck preacher,
At Water’s Edge
Waves of what will yet be
lap against my feet
salty with uncertainties
that slide beneath me,
dragging that steady pull of what has been,
the once firm ground beneath me
pulled gritty and course like so much sand between my toes
into cresting waves of seeming oblivion
while my ankles cool refreshed by crisp blue green waters of possibilities
washing around me in pools
which circle me like the embracing arms of my grandmother
whose wizened hands once led me,
her wrinkled grip holding my tiny finger
walking me down unknown paths
that, old to her, were ever-knew to me.
She weaved her tales of what had been
into a patchwork quilt of meaning
which I not only wrap tight around me
as I face the wintry chills of night
but hoist above
a tattered blanket of multi-colored hope turned sail
upon which I can catch new winds
at this shore from where past and future meet.
I remember, on roaring Georgia beach
hand in hand with my freckle faced baby sister in red pigtails
jumping in and out of such puddles with a splash
as are formed with each meeting of sea and sand,
uncertain ocean of possibilities and firm ground of memory, history, and experience.
and discovering with her surprises and wonder within
of fish swimming in those tiny oceans
of fiddler crabs in their quiet dance
seashells glistening in the sun
each waiting to be found
like Blackbeard’s hidden treasure.
Fear and uncertainty sliding with sand into the ocean
I lift my eyes hopeful, in search of what wonders
now wait to be found.