Friday, January 11, 2013

My take-away: embrace the high and low tides

"And I know what I have to do now. 
I got to keep breathing. 
Because tomorrow, the sun will rise. 
Who knows what the tide could bring?" 
~Tom Hanks' character, Chuck, in Castaway (2000)

Our time at No. Padre Island is coming to an end, and as usual, we find ourselves saying to one another, "do we really have to leave?"

sunset on No. Padre Island

It didn't use to be that my hubby enjoyed the beach even half as much as I do. The sand "everywhere" bothered him, and I couldn't answer Michael's constant question, what can I do now? In fact, one of the greatest birthday presents--and acts of love--that he ever gave me was planning and agreeing to camp on the beach for my 36th birthday. Yes, I do mean tent camping. Nothing is more delicious than going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the waves! And, yes, there was sand everywhere.

But we're older now, and perhaps a little wiser. We come to the beach to actually "do" nothing, both of us--to unwind, relax, and just "be." We no longer tent camp, but we still come to the same area that we discovered together decades ago. We come by ourselves. We come with our family. We come yearly in the summer with families who have been our friends for the vast majority of our lives.

In a very real way, this has become our second home. 

As I meandered up and down the shore these past few days, two types of shells stood out in my bountyscalloped shells of all colors and sizes, and red shells of all kinds:

scallop shell = symbol for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage

color red = symbolizes strong emotions; liturgically, it's the color of blood and martyrs--and the color of fire and Pentecost

I'm constantly learning about life and my spirit when I'm at the beach...

But just as not everyday can be a 23 mile day, I can't remain here forever, either.

On this time away, the sea reminded me what it means to be and feel alive, changing and welcoming what God has waiting for me from moment to moment. And how essential it is for my spirit to remain rhythmically connected to nature, and to my own daily high and low tides.

Important notice: 
be sure to read this Sunday's blog post in Day by Day, a Q&A with author Mary DeTurris Poust on the spirituality of food and her new book, Cravings. And -- you could win a copy of her book, as well as enter to win a Williams Sonoma gift card!