Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Since I am walking with my husband, I look at him and receive an equal look of contentment and acceptance. I imagine the herons are gazing at us and thinking that we are a mated couple just like them. We are shorter and stouter, but we have similarities. We too chose to become a lasting couple. The heron is watching his mate protected by the mangroves. I have always known that Denny protects me. Sometimes, it is a protection from too much detail about finances, other times it is easing me into a tragedy that has happened, and I have always known he would give his life if someone endangered me. This type of trust occurs after many years of marriage and knowing each other’s strengths. I, like the female heron, feel safe when I am with my mate.
We stop to sit on a fallen log and watch the seagulls diving for prey. The terns remain wing to wing even when they are on the beach. They feel protected by their numbers. When one takes flight, all of the others follow. I sense they know more about unity than I ever will. The flapping of their wings create a clapping sound. I imagine them applauding praises to God for their intricate creation.
Denny reaches for my hand. He holds it without saying any words. We just sit in the sunlight appreciating each other and the rhythm of the wild life around us. We are not hunting food. We are not even seeking anything from each other. We are content as we are. In our peace and harmony, I taste with love all that is good.
As Isaiah 26:3 states, “Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose imagination is stayed on Thee.” I have discovered through the years that nature echoes God’s ideas. It is His imagination that created these lovely creatures, this protective forest, and these soothing waters. My best lessons come through earth's embrace.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Today as I walk through the mangrove forest, I realize that the mangroves closest to the beach line are red. Their curved prop roots are often in the water. They fringe the coast to help absorb the fury of coastal storms. I am always amazed as nature teaches me how things “should be”.
If we are in a storm, we need “prop roots” too. We need encouragement, compassion, and protection. We need for friends to be there to absorb some of the fury we are enduring. God will be with us, but He uses people to extend hands and love to others. Just like the mangroves, we have multiple purposes.
I notice as I walk that many animal species live in the popped up roots. Small birds nest in the higher branches. These roots provide shelter and protection and every day habitats. I think to be a true companion; we too need to provide every day habitats of laughter, understanding, and help to our neighbors, spouses, and buddies. The mangroves seem to know their purpose well and function each day in their destiny.
So, my new motto is, “Just call me a mangrove.” To live as a mangrove is a serious commitment to mankind. I will try to meet this call.
Monday, February 8, 2010
A bit later we observed another osprey nest, just as messy. They just sling together kindling and moss and create a large, loose nest. Inside we heard the chirping. The babies had hatched and were demanding food. It reminded me that babies everywhere rule the world. They demand and adults find answers.
As we wandered out of the mangroves, we saw signs that asked we not wade in the shallow water because various Gulf terns were nesting. They were sitting on their eggs and finding food. Their legs seemed tiny and thin, and their feet large and misshapen. However, those legs could race across the water.
Small egrets in a nearby area were also nesting. I envied their long and graceful bodies. . Their legs were so thin and their beaks so long. Their over sized feet seemed unfitting. Yet, their unique shape was strength. It made them agile, fast, and they could grab prey in a second. Next, a group of pelican appeared on the post. Everyone is amused at their awkward composition. Those beaks appear to outweigh their body.
I suddenly realized that my fragile areas could be my strengths too. Perhaps my need to feel comfortable made others feel comfortable. My lack of understanding of numbers, manual directions, or detail gave me opportunities to seek more. These weaknesses actually create a hunger in me to learn more and research the things I do not know. As I continued to walk, I realized how many of my weaknesses had given me opportunities to succeed in life. Just like the egret, I was perfectly designed.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Today I have been pondering time. Time is elusive. I seldom meditate on it because in a moment it is gone. Gone are free fairs, free prizes in detergent, and free air and gas station services. Double features were a common occurrence in my youth. The time of freebies has expired.
Time can speed by so quickly that I can’t remember when the party began. A day at the beach steals time and leaves me wanting more. A simple walk through pine scented woods give me an embrace that lingers. Watching dancing clouds forming figures in the azure sky helps me recognize the absence of time. Sitting with a dying relative creates a lingering and the realization of the stopping of time.
How many times have I said, “ That just seems like yesterday.”? Actually five years had passed. That time was like the mist of morning: unmarked and undefined. This leads me to wonder if there is some bookmark in my brain that holds special days and allows me to reach them quickly but diminishes all the searches in between those days.
Entertainment definitely speeds up time. Boredom almost stops time. Yearning and envy waste time. Intentions stall time and often result in losing time.
Quietly the red orb slips into the sunset creating a time framed picture in my mind. Many of these time frames lure me into singing, dancing, remembering, and tearing. Time has shaped me, taught me, disciplined me, and humbled me. I tend to let go of times of thunderstorms and dark nights. I nurture times of delight.
Time unfolds mysteries and wraps me in harmony with God, nature, and wisdom.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
As I watch the glowing red ball dance upon the glistening teal waters, I am amazed at the expanse of the ocean before me. I am always in awe as I listen to the sea and watch the waves coming onto the shore. Since I was a tiny babe, the sifting sand and swishing waves have entertained me. When I stand on the beach, I am home in the heart. My eyes fill with warm tears as I remember the special seaside moments.
As a child the sea meant family time together, beach picnics, and good times with Daddy in the ocean. As a teenager, the sea brought me an understanding of the wonders under the glistening tabletop of water. I discovered pastel reefs, blue and green schools of fish, and my wonderful friends, the dolphins. I became akin to each of these beautiful creatures, and I would leave school and eagerly go out to sea with my cousin. The sea was our playground, and we never tired of the adventure of discovery.
As an adult the sea meant solace. I would walk the wet sand beach and talk to God. I would tell Him of my problems, my dreams, my hurts, and my expectations. He would always listen. The sea represented a mighty Counselor to me. By the shores of the aqua waters, I wrote many prayers, poems, and praises.
Now, the sea brings serenity to my mind and soul. As I watched my first Florida sunset of this year, I saw many others grabbing the calming waters. We sighted the sunset as if it were a spectacular event that we had never viewed previously. We watched with expectation, yet surprise. We noted the sun’s tripping lightly over the silky sea. The light reflections were meaningful and resurrected so many memories from my past. The vastness reminded me of my minute existence in this massive world. The sea embraced the fiery ball with such dignity, expertise, and knowing. They were long time companions and knew each other’s power and position. They respected each other’s elements and season. Once again, the sea had become my teacher, my counselor, my being.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Often my soul feels like a silent garden. I have asked God for help, healing, or advise , but there appears to be silence. I am not alarmed, nor do I think God has forgotten me. He has created me for His pleasure, for His keeping , for His seasons.
I remember that I have planted many spring bulbs. I have crated a path for them. They will bloom in spring, but not one peeks out in February. This reality reminds me of Isaiah 55:8,9 which says, " God's ways are not my ways." I am not blooming now, but I know I will bloom as my season transpires.
I have such passion for those golden daffodil blossoms that remind me of the childhood ones that I made of bright yellow crepe paper. I would take my hand made version and compare it to the ones in my yard. I realized that mine were just instant, stiff copies of the beauty God had created. I liked mine, but I liked His so much better.
I marvel at the intensity of the purple hue in a freshly blooming tulip. It is delicate yet rich in depths of color. It is silent yet boldly proclaims beauty like no other flower. It announces the coming of spring. It forecasts sunny days, warmth, and exemplifies resurrection. It is the season of God. It is His announcement of the resurrection of Christ. I am hopeful as I hold the sweet bouquet in my hands. I smell the sweet scent of hyacinths blooming around the tulips. I cherish the clean , serene group of flowers I have selected for my crystal vase. These previously dormant bulbs are being used to share hope, to become living art to my eyes, and to invade the very being of my soul. I pray I too can be used as mightily as this simple flower of spring.