We're back. Unbelievable. It is so out of wack that I have been counting off the days for 90 some days now, and all of a sudden it is over and we're back to the 4 walls and the street outside the window and the blasted tv shouting at us all of the time. How did that happen?
In great excitement we went to the beach for a week. We planned all of the things we would need to take along, going to a house we had never been to before and hoping for the best there was to have. Looking for the absolute opportunity to let go of everything that corrupts the soul and let God work in your mind and your body, pulling out all of those wretched thoughts and complaints and worries and simply learning to let your body relax and take in the wonder of God's world; of His creation, so amazing and so complete. And all of a sudden, 7 days are gone. Seven days of sitting in a low slung chair with my feet in the rolling tide and my fingers in the sand. Seven days of not worrying what I would eat or where I had to be tomorrow. Seven days of wearing the same clothes over and over and nobody caring. Seven days of laughing and sleeping and baking in the sun and spraying sunscreen on every conceivable part of our bodies. Seven days of glorious weather and watching the waves roll up on the beach and deposit new treasures brought from the deep. Seven days of breathing in and breathing out and not worrying about where the next breath was coming from, or if I could exhale deeply enough to keep going. Seven days of sitting still and waiting for God to reach into my heart and mind and make me whole again.
And now they are gone, and we are home again, relaxed and happy to be back home, but still a little sad that the seven days have come and gone and now we have to start counting down again, until the next opportunity presents itself to let go of everything in our lives and step into a different reality.
Those opportunities don't seem to come very often for me. Maybe they are really there, hidden in the humdrum of my daily life and routine, but I don't recognize them.
Maybe they are there, hidden in the laundry and the grocery store and the morning prayers. Maybe they are there, hidden in the songs sung and the stories written.
Maybe they are there, hidden in the smiles of strangers and the phone calls from my children.
But whether they are there or not, I can find that moment on the beach just by closing my eyes. I can smell the salt air and feel the grit of the sand between my toes.
I can see the starfish on the beach and hear my grandson's contagious laughter. I can remember it all by just closing my eyes and taking a deep breath and there I am once again.
So until next time...