The mirror images pressed into the water packed sand erased as quickly as they were made. Tides breathed in and out from its depths teasing and nipping at the bare souls of her feet. A continuous icy breeze caressed her face. Gulls squealed above demanding attention. And the setting sun splashed a majestic watercolor of lavenders, pinks, yellows, oranges, and grays across the canvas of sky with its fiery ray brushstrokes.
Blinding anger seared hot tears burning rivulets down her cheeks. Fingernails dug painfully into the clinched fists hanging to her side. Stomping her frustrations into the sand accentuated the rage reverberating through her body.
A relaxed couple walking behind a rambunctious Golden Retriever cleared a wide path around the 5’2” petite storm approaching them. The innocent retriever’s playful flirtation was greeted with scorn. Whimpering, he tucked his tail scurrying to its master for loving affirmation.
Four pairs of eyes passed each other from the edges. One pair’s cold slits glared a dare. One pair caught the distraction of a sand crab. Two pairs turned in pity toward the passing scowl.
Effortlessly rising from its rest below its blanket of rippling inky glass, the moon divided the darkness with a triangle of pure white casting a night shadow behind the limp, exhausted body seated on the shoreline. As it rose higher into the night sky, the long shadow shrunk up into the body and hid itself from the light.
Knees drawn toward her chest, arms encircling them and her head buried, completely missed the beauty all around her. Her one place of solace, of comfort and invigorating retreat had betrayed her. It brought no joy to her tonight, only chilling icy waters lapping at her toes.
Guilt flooded her soul. Why be angry at this place? It simply was. It had no control over its textures, skyscape or inhabitants. It was simply earth, sky, water and sand dotted with fowls and washed up sea creatures. Its life could be considered as melancholic as her own.
“Not fair!” she shouted to the empty night. “I will not let you rob me of my pity!”
A pelican cried overhead before diving to capture its prey.
“Lucky fish!” she blurted. “Why couldn’t a pelican scoop me up and end this misery?”
Free falling she collapsed backward into the moist sand. Hair splayed in a halo. The incredible beauty of the ebony velvet night sky punctured with diamonds of light shook her on impact.
“Oh my God!” she stammered out in awe.
The incredible beauty of the vast heavens snapped her back to the reality of life all around her. Suddenly, beneath the majestic floorboards of heaven, her life seemed insignificant, but powerfully destined. The wonder of the creation enveloping her leached out the bitterness from her soul, releasing a symphony of praise from her spirit.
“The God, Who had created earth, sea and sky…created me!” she rejoiced from her bed of sugary white sand.
Surf washed all around her. Her heart vibrant with the passionate fire of grace hardly took notice of the wet frigid chill soaking her.
“Count the stars! Count the grains of sand! Count the blessings of your life,” commanded the Presence surrounding her. “Not one sparrow falls to the ground, that I am not aware. If I care for a bird, will I not care for you?”
An altar erected…on the beach.
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