Measuring My Days

June 2009
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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.

         Beach 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.
All day thy wings have fann'd 
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere: 
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land, 
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end, 
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest, 
And scream among thy fellows; reed shall bend 
Soon o'er thy sheltered nest. 
Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven 
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart 
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given, 
And shall not soon depart. 
He, who, from zone to zone, 
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone, 
Will lead my steps aright.

To a Waterfowl
by William Cullen Bryant

              “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
 Life 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.