Monday, October 9, 2017

Look Down



Yesterday after church, we scrapped our usual plans (lunch at our place with whomever decides to join us) and headed North to one of our favorite escapes, New Buffalo Beach. We listened to '80's music the whole way there, windows down, sun streaming in.

The past two months have been pure hustle. I still don't remember much of August, but I know that on September first I passed the baton to Cory and he took off running. This is one of the gifts of our marriage, this willing partnership and our easy teamwork. But it comes at a cost.

So yesterday was all ours. We packed lunch in the cooler and the kids read books (and napped!) for the 70 minute drive. There were other people with the same idea, but not too many. They sat in beach chairs, soaking up the sun even as our world tilts further from its rays.

A few loony kids actually played in the water. (Hey, Ruby! Hey, Silas!)I hitched my cropped jeans up and waded with Calvin, in search of my beloved sea glass. As I'm prone to do, I tried to manage my expectations by saying I would be happy with just one piece. (It wasn't true.)

We slow-poked up the shoreline and back down, our eyes not on the water, not on the sky, not necessarily even on each other, but on the ground beneath our feet.

Calvin plunged his hand into the shallow surf and pulled out a handful of gravel and sand, fishing out a worn-smooth stone, bottle green, hazy from its journey. "You have to tell your eyes to only look for green," he said.

I tried, but my brown eyes kept finding brown glass.
Ruby only found white.
It was almost as if our eyes really were trained to search for different things.


In the end, we had a small handful of treasures.

For all my talk about paying attention to the sky, the clouds, and the moon in the morning, I learn just as much from looking down. This was easier to remember when my kids were young and and making eye contact meant bending low. Life keeps moving, changing.

Is it possible to see the world as wide but feel it as small?

My obsession with finding sea glass grew around the time I began to find kinship with friends who live banged up by their own journey through life. It's no surprise that after years of hoping, I finally located the place where it's sure to be found. I am learning how to train my eyes. Now, there's no beach I'd rather walk.

People say the sand isn't as good there. It's not as smooth, not as pretty. The crowds flock to better, tidier, more comfortable beaches.

Fine with me.

Because I know that hidden in the rocks are gleaming gems. You know they're ready when their edges are worn smooth. Your eye finds them by the surprising way they reflect the light.

They are worth the search. They're worth the grit.
They are worth it.

Look down.
Scoop them up.
Carry them home.


"Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance - all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined." - Isaiah 51:1

~


Precious Memories in a wavering soprano. Inter-generational hugs. The scratch of ink on Work Release paperwork. Grill smoke. Shorts in October. Madonna's "Borderline". Turkey, spinach and cream cheese. Bell peppers. Honey bees. Seagulls. Wave-splashed jeans. Rock ledges. Blue skies. Holding hands. Zanzibar chocolate on a (stale) sugar cone. Smoked ribs. Walnut hauling. Fiery evening sky. Mom and dad on the line. Sunday.

54 comments:

  1. I bring home pockets full of those super smooth black rocks. Sounds like a fabulous day!!

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  2. Adding to your list at the end: "and blessing friends/family far away by telling them this special story". You sure reflect light and beautiful colors!

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  3. Your sea glass metaphor hits me in the chest--- yes, those are worth searching for. I miss my alternative school kids, in front of me every day, but now I'm gone. I'm going to have to keep looking down! Thank you (always) for the reminder of the beauty in the ordinary.

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  4. I can't remember the name, but there is some ice cream shop there that's associated with pigs, and a man who sits on the sidewalk with a radio listening to sports games! I love New Buffalo!

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