My peripatetic wanderings have brought me to the northernmost of
North Carolina's Outer Banks for four days of solitary beach combing. While I prefer living amidst the Blue Ridge mountains,
my favorite escape is to these North Carolina beaches, many miles of which have been preserved as a National seashore. I am
lodged at the Hampton Inn at Corolla, a next door neighbor to the venerable Sanderling Resort, a haunt of the rich and famous
and a place with which I first became acquainted through its advertisements in Gourmet magazine back in the 1960s.
side, I am always captivated with mystery. The vast ocean that confronts me speaks of the big blue marble whirling in space
at speeds I cannot comprehend, the phenomenon of gravity that keeps megatons of water from whirling away into the stratosphere,
the measured movement and roar of the waves, and the timeliness of the tides wound clockwork in precision by earth's nearby
neighbor the moon. I walk on multicolor sands no two grains of which amidst billions are precisely alike carved from the ocean's
wear and tear from the beginning of time. Unique plants, birds and animals call this seashore their habitat, a place designed
for their greatest comfort, peace, and beauty. The sounds of centuries of voices join chorus with mariner’s today and
echo messages from Scripture “out of the deep.”
In my reveries, I found myself once again a passenger aboard the containership Cho Yang
Atlas, long days at sea, watching fishes fly and distant storm clouds with rainbows glorious enough in their beauty to break
anyone's heart. Gulls, pelicans, and terns patrol these shores with plaintiff cries as they navigate the wind currents sweeping
the dunes. Pondering pelicans in flight, these lines from William Cullen Bryant
came to mind:
There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way
along that pathless coast,--
The desert and illimitable air,--
Lone wandering, but not lost.
thy wings have fann'd
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere:
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end,
Soon shalt thou find a summer home,
And scream among thy fellows; reed shall bend
Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.
the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
shall not soon depart.
from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
lead my steps aright.
To a Waterfowl “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made
them all. The earth is full of Your possessions – This great wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; there is that Leviathan
which You have made to play there. These all wait for You, that you may give them their food in due season.” Psalms 104:24-27
by William Cullen Bryant
is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive everyone everything. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. Always choose life. Believe in miracles. Don't audit life.
Show up and make the most of it now. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting
everywhere. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. The best is yet to come. All that truly matters in the end
is that you loved. Regina Brett, 91 years young.