These past few weeks have been filled with changes, growth, and adventure for our family and many of our friends. Graduations, birthdays and other anniversaries all fell in May. Goal trips off the bucket lists have carried over into the first part of June, and suddenly I find myself on my front steps realizing we’re basically halfway through 2017! Wow! That was fast!
So, on this mid year morning, this new day, I found myself thinking on what may lie ahead, and even though I know tomorrow is never promised here on Earth, I have challenges and fears to conquer. I have hopes and dreams that need some acknowledgement and attention if they ever stand a chance of coming to fruition.
It’s day one. I have strong coffee, morning light, and old words. Today’s reminder from my grandfather’s book of ancient prayers, very much paraphrased: “Lord, I stand before you calling for grace and mercy, refresh my spirit and kindle my coldness with the fire of your love, enlighten my blindness with the brightness of your presence”. (Thomas A Kempis)
One of the things I love about that old book is how the prayers and reflections seem to speak to whatever’s happening for me. I don’t think I could have found a better guide for beginning this new day and these new chapters.
My life has a soundtrack, and the baseline is the crashing of Atlantic waves keeping time with my own heartbeat. Now, I don’t live at the beach….yet….but there’s something deep inside me that needs time at the water’s edge. More than a recharge, the ocean is where I go to actually re-set. In light of the recent storms, I’d like to share some photos of calmer times along the coastline; a reminder, perhaps, of the beauty that returns to the ocean once the storms have passed.
Every sunrise is beautiful in its own right, an awakening of possibilities of a new day; but a sunrise over the ocean is a masterpiece of light shattering the darkness. My favorite beaches are south-facing, which means the sun rises and sets over the water. Spectacular views all day long.
This sunrise was from a few weeks back as I stepped out alone onto the sand at Topsail Island, NC. Aside from a few sandpipers, pelicans and gulls, I had the whole strand to myself for at least half an hour. The night sky gave way to the most brilliant gold, red and orange hues as the sun slowly rose above the horizon. Waves rolled in and crashed upon the cold morning sand as if waving good morning to anyone who ventured nearby.
This past weekend, Labor Day Weekend, found me at the edge of the ocean once again. Tropical Storm Hermine made her presence known along the eastern seaboard, certainly, but did not linger at Oak Island, NC.
Watching the sunrise across the tall dunes
Large crab almost waving good morning
Morning wave ~ Perfection
Another south-facing beach in this great state, morning walks with coffee along the shoreline offers glimpses of tranquility and peace.
Pelicans flying westward
Boats ~ View from beyond the dunes
Mid-day draws the crowds and has different rhythm of conversation and laughter atop the ocean music; but the transitional time of morning and evening provide just the right light to silhouette nearly everything against the crashing waves.
You know, I’ve seen the sunset in the Florida Keys and it is a spectacular sight no doubt. But even more spectacular, I think, are the sunsets right here in North Carolina as the golden sun drops into the Atlantic, setting the sky aglow, lighting the way for the night to take the stage.
Sunset, November 2015 Oak Island, NC
Silhouette Sailboats – Oak Island/Southport NC November 2015
And long after sunset, the rhythm of the waves keeps steady time here on earth, with an unbreakable relationship with the heavens. I find the stars seem to shine brighter and clearer at waters edge, away from the light pollution of the towns and cities. Perhaps even the waves themselves, in some forgotten language, whisper “Look Up” .
Star Gazing – Mercury, Venus & Saturn (I think) looking Southward over the Atlantic September 2016
A little cloud lightning over the Atlantic ~ After Midnight
Star gazing ~ Looking Southward across the Atlantic
But some nights, some nights the moon shows up in its full brilliance and light shining over the landscape, unseen by those who sleep deep and early. I believe everyone should experience the beauty of the full moon over the ocean at least once in their lives – preferably several times.
These are the nights when the waves truly get to not only sing into the darkness with their rolling music, but to shine brightly under the spotlight of a moon always in tune with the rhythm of the waves. Goodnight Atlantic. I miss you already.