Monday, October 08, 2012

31 Days in which I am Saved by Beauty - Day 8

I took my walk at Butterfly Beach today.
The shadows were long,
the temperature was unseasonably warm,
and I needed to breathe in the beach beauty
for a little while.
When I walk at the beach,
choosing instead to walk laps.
I pace up and down this long, level sidewalk,
edging the beach, and I marvel at the view.
The tide was high tonight,
with barely a beach to stand on.
It felt good to walk,
to stretch my legs,
standing tall in the fading sunlight,
sighing 'thank you, thank you,' 
with each step.
 This is my other sanctuary,
quite different from the one I wrote about last night.
Last night spoke to my hunger 
for the nearness of God,
the singular joys of being alone in the midst
of gathered community.
Today, I celebrated the bigness of God,
feeling myself puny, alone but not lonely,
relieved to not be in any way confused
with the person in charge of 
anything whatsoever.
I need them both, it seems.
I need physical reminders of God's proximity
and of God's distance,
of God's willingness to become small,
and of God's astounding immensity.

When I walk at Butterfly, I face both into
and away from the sun and the breeze.
One direction is cooler and things can be seen
in sharper outline than the other.
I like these contrasts,
I enjoy turning my face in a different direction,
and seeing the same thing from two sides.
This gull, for example.
Facing into the setting sun, 
he stands in silhouette,
dark against the shimmering sea.
But when I face away from the sun,
I see him in full color,
his subtle shades of gray and white,
that startlingly bright orange beak,
even his reflection on the wet sand. 

Right now, we are facing into a potentially difficult
situation for someone we love 
someone we love more than life.
When I think of her and pray for her,
remembering this experience today
is helpful, centering, yes, 
even calming.

Because today I had the momentary privilege
of seeing from two sides,
each beautiful in its own way.
Neither one is the whole picture.
We don't get to see all that there is to see
in this life we lead.
We do see so much! 
So much that is beautiful,
in the way that we ordinarily define that word.
But there is more.
There is more than what we actually see
at any given moment in time.
And I am trusting that what I cannot
see just now
will have a beauty all its own. 

Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.

Sharing with Jennifer, Ann's Wednesday group, Emily and Duane this time around.