It’s September- I have been waiting and longing for this week (18th through the 22nd) for months. Bob and I have come to Ogunquit for a few days of R&R, with many thanks to our oldest daughter for this time in her timeshare! One of my goals this week was to write, so here I am Wednesday morning, finally…
Parents never quite escape from their children: it’s a fact of life, I guess. Not that I want to completely, but just a few days of not having to think about all the things that are a constant in my life would be nice. My brain needs to relax, too! Katie is staying with our friends, who love her and who are going above and beyond to give us this time. I tried really hard to make sure I didn’t forget anything- but I did forget one critical bit of information: to tell my friend about Katie’s seizure medication. That’s new this summer, and I just don’t want to get into it all right now. When I realized at 6pm Sunday evening, when my phone alarm went off, that I’d forgotten to tell her about it, I called- and had to leave a message. Then I forgot to call later to make sure she received it. She found it in Kate’s lunch bag the next morning, although Kate told her she didn’t know what it was for!? She knows. So it’s almost 7am, and Kate is trying to swallow the pill, but it didn’t go down. Then she goes into a seizure. Bumps her chin on the counter, and falls back into the wall, leaving a basketball-sized hole in the wall. Once the seizure is over, I get the call, and now I have a really good reason to beat myself up and ruin the rest of my vacation. But I have the best friend in the world, a true follower of Christ, who assures me that it’s all okay, even the hole in the wall, and even though I feel terrible about my mistake, she doesn’t even need to forgive me, for she doesn’t hold it against me. It was just a mistake.
So enough about the stressful stuff! I want to write about the ocean! I love coming to the ocean. I don’t love sitting in the hot sun with hordes of sun-seekers. I love the September ocean, when the summertime tourists have gone, the air is cooler, and I can breathe. Monday we walked the Marginal Way, warm from walking, cooled by the breeze. “Why is it that people are drawn to the sea?” Bob asks. Why is it that we just sit and watch it, the waves endlessly coming in, and then draining back to the ocean, only to meet another swell coming in. We speculate a bit- maybe because our bodies are 70% water…maybe because our ancestors crawled up out of the sea, Bob jokes. And then evolved into apes. We wonder how anyone can begin to believe that.
Later, we take our lunch and a couple of chairs, and our books to Wells Beach. The tide is coming in, and the waves are pretty high. We find a spot to plant our chairs, and bring out lunch. We soon notice that all of the sea gulls within sight are facing us, politely waiting. Directly in front of us is a really large gray one, beady eye unblinking, watching and waiting. After awhile some lose interest, maybe because they know it’s the big guy in front who stands the best chance. Watching them, we put words to their actions. Isn’t it funny how we humans tend to do that, give human qualities to other creatures? (I know there’s a word for that, but I can’t think of it off the top of my head.) The ones who tuck their heads back as they run along reminded me of stodgy old men in tails. And the large gray one- he gave some rather harsh warnings to others, loud, open-beaked, body stretched long squawks that sent the others in a wide path around him.
Amongst the large gulls who stood waiting, ran a tiny little bird with a long beak, pecking at the wet sand. I suspected he was eating tiny insects that we couldn’t see. He looked so alone, all by himself, a dwarf in the midst of the gulls. But I had a strong sense of his Heavenly Father, who was providing for him. He just went busily about, making me laugh and marvel at the speed at which those tiny legs could take him, weaving in and out amid the gulls.
In a moment, they all scattered- and a large dog appeared, a yellow lab whose owners held securely on a leash. He was obviously excited, but that leash held him, and they had a kind of harness that went over his nose and the back of his head. My guess is that it would keep him from straining against his collar and choking himself. They tried throwing a ball for him, but leashed, he couldn’t chase it well. Inside I was saying, take the leash off, I want to watch him run! They did, and he leaped for joy, so excited to be free. They tossed the ball, repeatedly, and he ran for it, bringing it back, dropping it at their feet. The first time he actually had to go into a couple of inches of the surf to get it, he kind of leaped, trying to escape the water, like it was a surprise. They did say that it was his first time at the beach. He ran to us for a quick greeting, for which his owner apologized, and to others, and she kept apologizing, but none of us were unhappy with him. It was fun to see his joy at just being who he was, and where he was.
Oh, that we might experience the same confidence in our Creator that the animals display: assurance of provision, and joy in who He has created us to be. Lord God, Father, thank you for Your joy and your provision.