The morning sun peeks in the window and a balmy breeze moves the curtains ever so slightly, as I stretch and rise from blissful sleep. Pulling the covers back,
my bare feet land on the ages-old wooden floor, sensing the tiny bits of sand always resident there. I walk toward the window and peer out, feeling the radiance
of the sun. Is it low tide? High tide? Hmm. I'll have to check the tide chart.
Dressed in cotton khakis and a soft, well-worn tee, I grab my mug of tea and head outside to greet the morning. I swing open the screen door and without
thinking let it swing back with a bang! "Oops," I giggle, "hope I didn't wake any of the neighbors!" Making my way down the steps from the wooden deck, I
breathe in the balmy salt air and look at the sky. Only a few white puffy clouds are resident there; the sunrise this morning is bright and clear.
My foot lands on the last step, a round paving stone nestled in the sand, still cold to the touch. The sand is cold as well, and slightly wet from the dew. I stop for a
minute to squiggle my toes in the sand, and smile at the memories of my childhood. Walking out to the dock, my mind wanders back through all the years my
family has stayed at this old relic of a beach house. It's not the fancy modern types that are built along the beach; no, this one has wooden siding that has
withstood more hurricanes that I can count, built up on stilts to protect it from flood damage, with two screened porches - one on the water side for days that
aren't too hot and muggy, and one on the back side, shaded by live oaks and other trees. In my mind, it's a grand testimony to a former way of life that was much
slower than today's chaotic pace.
I step gingerly as I make my way across the front lawn to avoid the burrs I know are laying in wait to attack my bare feet. Sipping a bit of my hot tea and honey, I
take a few steps on the walkway to the dock, then stop to search for fiddler crabs. I catch a glimpse of a few scurrying over the sand, smiling at their quick
Finally arriving at my destination, I lean against the worn railing. The tide will soon be high. I ponder the thought of a morning fishing trip, and nod to myself in
approval. But activity can wait for another few minutes, as I take in all around me. The scene is a picturesque as always: tall, green marsh grass rising from
mud flats and oyster banks, gray-green salt water wandering slowly through the channels, a beautiful blue sky with soft white puffy clouds, a gentle balmy breeze
with just enough strength to flutter my hair. I close my eyes, breathing in the salt air. This is my place of peace, where I refuel my tank, and calm my soul. This is
home away from home, separate from chores and todo lists and expectations of a world that demands more than I can give. This is where I reconnect with God,
to seek His face, to know His will, to enjoy His creation.
A great blue heron rises gracefully from his hiding place in the marsh grass, using his powerful wings to climb into the sky. Slowly, as if to say there's no rush
today, he climbs into the air and flies to another spot to look for his breakfast. I watch as he lands far away, and begins his careful watch over the water. A marsh
hen lets out a repeated squawk somewhere in the marsh grass, as if to say, "Get up! You're wasting your day!" Even my old fishing boat thumps against the
dock as it floats in the water, as if to remind me of our friendship. But I only chuckle in response. No, I'm not wasting my day. This time of repose is purposeful.
It's important. And I'm not going to miss it. It's true, the time and the tide wait for no man, but I'm not behind schedule yet. And if I miss fishing today? There will
still be tomorrow. No reason to rush here.
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