I decided last night that I would treat myself to sunrise on the beach this morning. Set my alarm, was delighted to wake before it went off, so that I could let Bill sleep; and tried to sneak quietly out of bed. After dressing, I made myself a matcha latte, grabbed an apple and breakfast bar – and headed to the beach. On the way, I noticed that we had 100% cloud cover. Not exactly what I had hoped for….but since I was up – why not?
The beach was deserted, there were two surfers out trying to catch something that resembled a wave. The time for sunrise arrived, minus the sun. As the clouds started to thin in spots, I was reminded of faith. Though I couldn’t see the sun, I knew it was rising. I could even catch glimpses of blue sky and the sun briefly. Isn’t that what faith is? Knowing and believing in what you can’t see?
After watching the sky and sea for a while, I went home to pick up Piper for her beach walk. We were about 2/3 done with our walk when things got interesting. By now, the sun is up, wind is blowing, and the workday on base is well under way. There was a young sailor out running on the beach, and us. Well, a few surfers down Hannah Park way – but pretty much an empty beach. Then I noticed an older man on the beach – figured I must have missed seeing him – he was walking and jogging kind of randomly. He jogged up and past us to a pile of shells that had washed up on the beach. He picked up a beautiful shell (almost like he knew it was there without having to look for it), turned, and walked up to us and handed me the shell. “This is yours, you need this.” I smiled at him, “um, okay. Thank you.” Then he told me that he comes to this beach because it is good for the soul. He explained that it is restorative, refreshing, and renewing. He told me it was good for me to be here on the beach, and quite a bit more. The things he shared were things that blessed me – words of wisdom and grace. Then, he smiled, wished me a wonderful day, and turned back to the shell pile. I wished him a good day, and Piper and I started walking. I had taken perhaps 5-10 steps, and turned back to thank him again. He was gone – nowhere to be seen. We were not near one of the beach access points, there was nowhere for him to have left the beach in that short amount of time, and I’m pretty sure he couldn’t move that fast.
My beach lessons today were amazing. The beach encounter still has me somewhere between confused and surreal – but filled with a feeling of warmth and grace. My faith in the sunrise has been rewarded with a lovely sunshine-filled day. My mind is full of wonder, grace, and considering angels…