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Topic: Rest (06/14/04)
TITLE: Walking at midnight
By dub W
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Midnight walks are special. Mainly because I am rarely awake at midnight! The exception is when I visit the mountains or beaches. On a warm moonlit night at the beach, or a cool star filled night in the mountains, a stroll along the sand or pine straw lanes is purely relaxing. To saunter unencumbered by traffic lanes, sidewalks or curbs, and to do so at midnight is all the more restful and inviting. To breathe deeply and feel a God sent breath of cleanliness filling the cavity of our bodies, is a lifting gift from above.
My wife and I enjoy a slow paced walk along the sandy shores of the Atlantic shoreline in North Carolina. At midnight, few individuals block our way as a few sand crabs and we occupy the sandy paths. The feel of the cool sand between our toes as we walk elicits a rare sensation. The occasional flow of the surf as it washes our feet leaves a salty tingle--which piques the web between our toes as we walk. Licking our lips we are privileged to a taste the airborne white powder and marvel at the cleansing effect. On a full moon night, no flashlight is needed to find the way. Moonbeams serve as ushers along the shoreline and beckon us ever onward. Occasionally, the moonlight sparkles off of the shell once worn by one of the small sea creatures of the Atlantic Ocean.
If we pause for reflection and prayer, and in turn, look around, we often spy the scurrying legs of the shy sand crab Ė one of Godís creatures hurrying to his own Mass. The tiny white shining animal loves the nighttime. The crab works his way around in search of food but shuns human companionship choosing to instead to borough into the sand at the approach of a human.
Walking along, drugged by the sounds of the sea, I often pick up my pace to that of my normal walking exercise. This usually means that my mind has wandered and somehow returned to the obnoxious reality of everyday life. A tug on my hand by my companion and I slow down and return to the dreamy state reserved for such strolls along the beach.
Often we will journey too far away from our secure residence, therein, forcing ourselves to reverse our path and continue our walk in the opposite direction --stretching the stroll into the wee hours of the morning. My companion and I find that an hour or two of just sitting, breathing in the wonders of our Lord, and watching the sea is absolutely necessary, after returning from an extended stroll along the beach. Back in our residence we leave the windows and doors ajar throughout the night. The continuing lullaby of the tide makes sleeping easy and restful. The cool breezes, sent via the breath of God, are a natural air-conditioning while the night continues into morning. We awake with the pleasant memory of a midnight stroll along the beach, and the expectation of another evening of the same not far in the future.