James

October 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

I tried my hand at some crafting today. I have been meaning to try this since last Christmas, and hadn’t gotten around to it. I found a picture on pinterest ( oh pinterest…I will never live up to you…) of mason jars coated in epson salt, using mod podge and a clear sealant coat. Put a candle inside, and tada! Easy right? 

I already have 11 mason jars (Don’t ask about the 12th…there was a minor incident with one of those christmas jar recipes…) Well I didn’t have a paint brush or sponge to apply the glue, and being determined, subbed a plastic knife. This made things a bit…globby? Is that a word? So I globbed this glue on, and rolled the mason jar in epsom salt, and sprayed the darn thing down with clear sealant.

 

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Haha, these are not mine, these are what mine SHOULd have looked like…

These things are ugly, ya’ll. There a pieces just falling off the bottom, and the glue is so thick it’s leaving strips. And they are out there drying on our deck, and I’m 90% sure the forecast says rain tonight. 

So, moral of the story is, fail. 

But, even so, at least it was pleasant distraction for the evening. Today was a good day, with lots of blessings. It was my half day, and I was so thankful for that little extra time this afternoon to put away the laundry, watch Project Runway, and go to the gym without being so ridiculously tired. I was lucky enough to be done seeing patient’s at 9:45, giving a good 2 hours to catch up on paperwork, which unfortunately I desperately needed. I spoke with my mom on the phone, which is always a bringer of joy. And I’m starting to finally get caught up on our James bible study lessons, of which I have been horribly slacking. 

The chapters I read today were, appropriately enough, about Joy. This study is by Beth Moore, who I just love, and she makes the point that James just dives right into the issue.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

 

How hard is that right??? I used to read this part of the chapter when I was in grad school, and just completely not get it. I mean, I got it. I got that the Lord wanted us to be joyful. But it’s nice to know, and lucky for me, that that wasn’t exactly the point. Our trials bring joy. They aren’t joyful when we are going through them. In fact, they are down right painful, annoying and full of things that are exact opposites of that joy.

But just think about our purpose on this earth. The whole reason we are here is to be perfected in Jesus. Not perfect. Perfected. There is a difference, which Beth states so much more eloquently than me. But to paraphrase, we are here for a purpose, and God will not stop until we have reached that full potential. How terrible would it be to get to the end of your life and not have reached that? I can’t think of anything worse than missing the point of my ENTIRE life. This journey, this place you are in right now, is on purpose. You are on purpose. Whatever you’re doing right this minute, God wanted you here for a reason.

And I so often get off track. I get distracted by the idea of a house, or notoriety, or new boots even. And those things aren’t even close to the point. I will be the first to tell you, I have no idea at 25 years old what my life purpose is. But I will tell you that God and I are taking this thing one day at a time. And when I fail, daily, He reminds me of why I’m here, and gets me back on the God track for my life. 

Sometimes this means trials. This means gritting your teeth and holding on for the ride, and praying to God for wisdom ( read a few more verses in James to get there ) so that you make it through the stuff that on earth is not so nice. But let’s all be honest. If all of our lives were “perfect” in the worldly sense. If we never lost a friend, fell into depression, had a disappointment, experienced sorrow, how would we ever reach out to the world with compassion? Where would we get our perseverence? Where would come our character? 

I don’t believe God brings sorrow. I firmly believe the Devil comes at each one of us, and since we live in a fallen world, sorrow is inevitable. But God can turn that sorrow, that anguish (seriously, get the James bible study. It will rock your world.) into singing. He can bring that sadness into Joy. He can give you a spirit of perseverance. 

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Alive

October 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today, I am thankful.

I am thankful for praise music, and my ability to belt it out in the car in imperfect pitch. I am thankful for yards full of yellow, orange, and burnt red leaves, and the people who are gracious enough to leave them un-raked so I can stare at them. I am thankful for morning coffee, with lots of half-and-half. I am thankful for husbands who are so willing to help their extended families, even when it isn’t the most fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I am thankful for moms who take their kids out for tacos on Saturday nights. I am thankful for a job that allows me to spend my weekends with family and friends. I am thankful for cinnamon, because it is such a delightful spice. 

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I was listening to a song by Jason Gray, that talks about how good it is to be alive, how good it is to live like there isn’t a tomorrow. It was such a worshipful, celebration of life kind of song, and it was my devotion this morning. Even though it was a brief four minutes, it’s so powerful to have a reminder of how precious each day is.

Sunday mornings are not a favorite of mine. It always seems like a let down, since work is looming on Monday and there are so many little things to work on. But it’s nice to know we have a God who will gently remind us to slow down and appreciate. To be thankful for each moment, even if it is a furniture moving day and dreary and windy and rainy. 

 

It’s good to be alive. 

 

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It’s good to be alive.

Joyful

October 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been struggling these last few months with the concept of Joy.

What does it take to be truly Joyful?

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Since starting my job 4 weeks ago, I’ve learned alot. I’ve learned to do things right, how to make mistakes, what to do and what not to do when dealing with co-workers, supervisors, and computer systems. How to ask questions, even when I think they’re dumb ones. Even dumb questions are often necessary. I’ve started to figure out what is important, and what things to let go of. When to do my paperwork and went to relax. How to budget my time, and balance my budget. 

But I haven’t figured out this Joy thing. 

Truthfully, going forth into the real world has been a struggle. I didn’t realize, and really how could I?, but I didn’t realize how much I would miss the closeness of a group of friends, of like-minded people, and the availability factor, how having these people within a few miles of each other meant to me. I miss my friends, is what I’m trying to say. Starting over with friends is hard. There are awkward moments, moments that are good, and just overall discouragement when you realize that you aren’t living close to those with whom you are close. It’s an opportunity, but kind of a rough go at first. I’ve been trying to make the best of my situation by being kind to my co-workers, but let’s all be honest and say that often times co-workers don’t make up the best of friends. I’ve been attempting to forge friendships with a few girls around here who are my age, attend bible study with a group of church women of all ages, and appreciate having my sisters and family close by. But I still miss grad school, with someone to chat with on every corner, and kindred spirits. While some of these people are a phone call away, a phone call is not the same…

Besides leaving my classmates, I’ve also entered a completely new realm of life. The new professional. Along with this comes questions…of “Hey, am I doing this right?” “What do I do now?”  “Where was that thing again?” “What was this person’s name?”. And so on. There is always someone better at every aspect of the career than the new kid. And my mentality is not always the most kind. I have a tendency to downplay my successes and obsess over my failures. Even when I know I’m doing it, it’s still hard to not beat myself up for messing up. 

So that environment is not always conducive to a joyful spirit. 

And time. Oh my…time. I have goals of getting up each morning to spend time in prayer and bible study, to make my mind right with God. And then I sleep. I sleep in, rush to get out the door by 6:25, and start my morning off all wrong. And this is exactly what I know I should NOT be doing. But again, it isn’t a necessarily great way to start your day off nice and joyous. 

After some reflection today ( I stayed home from work due to an upset stomach…I think my flu shot yesterday really got to me…but yay for a little extra time with the Lord! ) I’ve decided I need to make some changes. Joy is not something that is easy to come by in today’s society. But isn’t it such an awesome thing when you find someone who is truly joyful? Who exudes the spirit of God with such an awesome sense of peace that you constantly want to be around that person? I truly believe that is what God wants each and every one of his followers to be. Personalities aside, we should all be creatures of Joy, because we were created that way. Yes, we live in a fallen world, and yes this is not our home. But think of the alternative: Did God create us to be creatures of sadness? People of depression and discouragement? I think not. 

I have a dear friend who always shows me the spirit of God. She is such a person of peace, a woman of calm. And I have always longed for that. And I think God has always longed for me to be that. But in order to do so, I have to put down a little baggage. Place a few things at His feet. 

1. Stop the negative self-talk. A few years ago I went to a Christian counselor due to some high anxiety and depression that were hurting my life. We discussed negative self-talk quite a bit, as well as how to re-structure thoughts to change the reaction (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). I’ve realized over my life time I don’t have what the world calls “high self-esteem”. I just don’t. And I could go into all the ways and reasons why I don’t. But why bother. I know them, the first step, but I’ve also realized how important it is to recover from it. And I haven’t quite gotten there yet. For instance, if one of my co-workers is distracted when I’m speaking to them, and they don’t answer me in a the nicest tone or give me a short response, I’ve found myself reading into that immediately. “What if they don’t like me?? What did I do to them? Was it that one time? Should I do this to get them to like me?”. Which sounds ridiculous on paper. But it’s what my brain immediately jumps too, and what it has immediately jumped to for a long time. 

And let’s be honest. That’s just silly. Maybe that person was doing their paperwork. Maybe they are thinking about what to make for dinner. Maybe they just had a fight with their husband and in a bad mood. It’s not all about me. That’s the “all or nothing” mentality I discussed with my therapist, and it’s what is so damaging to self-esteem. Jumping to immediate assumptions is not productive. 

And I realized, not to sound rude, but who really cares? Who really cares if that person likes me? I know myself. I am a nice person. Not every minute of every day… But still. I consider myself to generally be a smart, caring individual who truly likes people. If someone dislikes me, what can I do about it? Now, If I’ve wronged them, on purpose or accident, it’s my job to apologize and ask for forgiveness when it comes to my attention. I get that. But people are people. And if someone doesn’t like me because they think my hair looks funny, they think I’m too conservative, or dislike my sense of humor…who cares? I’m starting to realize in life that all that matters is doing your best and relying on God for everything else. That is probably way too simplistic a way to put it, but it’s true. I am who I am. I am always trying to be more Christ-like, and I should always be trying to show a Christ-like attitude towards those I meet. But if I’m doing that, and a person decides they dislike me for one reason or another, then I can’t do a thing about it. 

So negative self-talk needs to go out the window. Even if I mess up, it’s time to remind myself I am human, humans are not God, they aren’t perfect. Move on.

2. I touched on this earlier, but it’s time to get right with God. Every single morning. Other things are good, like cooking a healthy breakfast, exercising, or even reading the news with my morning coffee. But all of these things should absolutely come 2nd to meeting with Christ. And on the mornings when I sleep in too late, on my 25 minute commute I should seek his presence. I tried this once this week, and my fears were immediately calmed. Now, this doesn’t happen every time, and this shouldn’t be the soul reason I seek God’s presence. But it was infinitely better to walk through the doors of my job with an attitude of calm and peace, rather than of intimidation, or anger, or frustration, or fear. I think Satan works hard on me to distract me from being in God’s presence, because he knows how powerful that is. I need to fight him as hard as I can in order to realize just how great my life can be, just how much of a difference I can make in this world, when I am connected to the savior. 

3. Be thankful. Be thankful for my coffee. Be thankful for my desk. Be thankful for family and friends and coworkers. Be thankful for breakfast. Be thankful for my apartment, for my paycheck, for my health, for my good night’s rest, for my chance to connect with God through prayer. Be thankful for the shirt on my back, and the pants I’m wearing, that I could afford shoes to wear today. Be thankful for the weather, whatever it is, be thankful that it’s Wednesday. 

Thankfulness is so healthy, and so rare I’ve noticed. Again, not pointing fingers, because I am the biggest problem of them all. But how often do you run into people who only complain? Who only seem to look at the negative? I struggle with that. In myself and with others. It’s discouraging to me to meet people who only talk negatively about situations. I need to learn to praise God for EVERYTHING. Because it really is all a gift. And thankfulness breeds happiness, happiness blossoms to Joy. 

I mentioned earlier I missed my friends. And I really really do. But last week, on a Sabbath, I had a talk with God. I went and sat on the steps down to my parent’s lake, and really kind of hashed it out. I was discouraged. Sometimes I feel lonely, and this hurts my heart. I spoke with God and asked Him why I was where I was and where are all my Godly friends? Why is everyone in Chicago and Georgia and California? I miss them. And God placed it on my heart that I was exactly where I needed to be. I was with my family. And this is where He wants me to be right now. This is where I’m suppose to make the difference. And I felt slightly chastised, because how often have I, over the last few months, complained to God about my lack of companionship, with my sisters, brothers, husband, and parents right under my nose? Even if it’s different, God placed it on my heart that this is where my life belongs right now. And I realized how ungrateful, how un-THANKFUL I had been. 

I’m sure there are other things I’ll be adding to this list. But for now, I think those three are what the Lord has placed on my heart to work on. 

1. Get rid of the negative self-talk!

2. Focus on God

3. Be Thankful

I know it’s simple, but I really want to adjust my attitude. Christians are called to be Joyful, to exude the Joy of Christ. That’s where I want to be. 

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”

-James 1: 2-4

 

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Progress

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m done.

Or I’m just starting. Whichever you prefer. I graduated last Sunday, and found out Tuesday I had passed my boards. I’m officially a PT (waiting for my license…but still). 

It’s odd to think that life just flows. That one thing happens after another. When I started school I never thought I’d get here, yet here is now, here we are. Starting September 17, I’ll have a real job, hopefully working with children.

There’s a mix of excited/scared/terrified/blessed…etc. Any word you can think of really. I’ve realized that life moves on, and this week off of responsibility has FLOWN by. It’s already Friday, and this week has been filled with family and friends, packing and cleaning, sleeping in, and eating food that’s bad for me. 

It’s wonderful and sad at the same time. I’ve been trying so hard to grasp the “living in the moment” concept that has escaped me for years. Living in the right now, being thankful for the day that I have, loving all opportunities to just relax, or eat out with friends, or see my family. Not wishing for things to be different, but loving what I have.

That’s always been difficult for me. As I read through the posts i’ve done in the past, I realize how oriented I was on graduating and passing my boards. And now that that’s over, I realize how much I miss being in school. I mean, I think there will always be a part of that. But I’m trying to realize how little worry should play a part in my life, especially as a christian. 

I prayed for a long time yesterday. I had spoken to my new boss on the phone, and he had discussed with me the ideas he has for opening the pediatric part of our clinic, and it was very ambitious. As a new grad, I felt a little overwhelmed. I’m still trying to figure out all the rules, regulations, and treatment strategies. To hear him talk about my being in charge of the pediatric part of the clinic made me excited and scared. He had questions for me I couldn’t answer.

I prayed. And the Lord heard me. Immediately after owning up to all my fears, I thought of Moses. And Samuel. And Joshua. David, Ruth, Mary. All these people in the bible that were so ordinary. I remember reading the story of Moses, and how he did not want to speak, did not want to do the job God laid out for Him. He argued with God, and yet God used Him to do great things. Ruth, and woman from another city, a gentile city, who became part of God’s family tree. David, and young boy who tended sheep, who wasn’t even part of the royal family, yet God used for so much good. Samuel, a child, who God used to direct the King of Israel.

God can use me. I am afraid, I am not worthy, I am just so ordinary, but God can use me. And I think, I know he will. If I can control my worry, refuse to be anxious, and trust in Him, He will use me. I really feel that this is what He’s called me to do, and I don’t want to shirk from that. I want to step up. I know I’ll make mistakes, but God forgives. God uses imperfections. 

I’m trying to make progress. I’ve realized that, despite my mistakes, God is using me. Despite my penchant for anxiety and worry, God is holding me up in His arms, and leading me in the path I should go. I need to take it one day at a time, but I believe this is what I’m called to do. 

 

Sing

July 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Sing, O barren woman, Sing”. Isaiah 54:1. 

I think this verse applies to more than childlessness. I know that it does hold special meaning to those who are childless, who plead with God to bless them with a sweet little one to cherish. The verses go on to talk about how God will bless this barren woman, with numerous descendants, and He will be her husband. 

I love that this verse is directed to women. I think so often in the bible, women have to insert the “she” or “her” in place of the “he” and “him”. The bible is filled with men of God, and I’m sure due to cultural norms they only referenced the male gender when talking about the words of God. I know that in most cases it wasn’t a disrespect of the feminine race, but more of a Hebrew class thing.

But I also know that God cherishes women. Sometimes I think it makes even more of an impact that the stories and blessings of women are less frequent than those of men. The stories of strong women of God are well known, because they are few. The blessings of women are so cherished because they are scattered so intermittently throughout the text.

And this is one I cherish. Here’s the whole, lengthy, chapter:

 

“Sing, barren woman, 
    you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy, 
    you who were never in labor; 
because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband, ”
says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, 
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes. 
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
    your descendants will dispossess nations 
    and settle in their desolate cities.

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. 
    Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth 
    and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 
For your Maker is your husband —
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; 
    he is called the God of all the earth. 
The Lord will call you back 
    as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young, 
    only to be rejected,” says your God.
“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 
In a surge of anger 
    I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness 
    I will have compassion on you,”
    says the Lord your Redeemer.

“To me this is like the days of Noah,
    when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. 
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
    never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken 
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken 
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, 
    I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,[a] 
    your foundations with lapis lazuli. 
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
    your gates of sparkling jewels,
    and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord, 
    and great will be their peace. 
14 In righteousness you will be established: 
Tyranny will be far from you;
    you will have nothing to fear. 
Terror will be far removed;
    it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
    whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith 
    who fans the coals into flame
    and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail, 
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.”

Kind of awesome right? That this blessing and promise of the Lord starts by speaking of a woman? Yeah, yeah I know it’s Israel. But I also know that God loves every generation, and He had to know in His infinite wisdom that someday, in the 21st century, women would read this and hold it close to their hearts.

As I was saying, I don’t think this only applies to the childless woman. Whatever are in life, whatever barrenness you feel, I find this verse very appropriate. Loving. Comforting. 

I’ve been struggling this past few months with barrenness. Not of the childless kind [although I do have a vacant womb. But at this point that’s more by choice :)] but of the lonely kind. I’ve spoken about this before, but after leaving college I found that I was missing the camaraderie and friendships I had formed there. I have always loved having women surrounding me, women I can talk with and laugh with and share with. I believe this is a God given blessing in women’s lives. Weekly bible studies, long talks, trips to the mall, volleyball matches…The last few years of college especially were filled with wonderful friendships (women and men) that I cherished. And upon moving back home, I’ve found that there is a void within me where that use to be. I’ve found it difficult to create new friendships, found it difficult to find those of similar mind to forge relationships with. 

This has worn on me. It has made me question my abilities, my personality, and my life decisions. Why would God bring me here, and leave me without friends??? I was angry and depressed and torn up.

But over the last month or so, I’ve really tried to connect with my savior, to pray about this issue and discover God’s purpose for me. It hasn’t been easy. I think God calls us to look ahead, not behind. To think about OUR purpose, not long for someone else’s. There have been set backs, and days where I just cry out to God, “Why? Why is this the way that it is? What do you want from me?” 

And sometimes God is silent. Or I am so anguished I don’t hear Him. But then somedays I do. And today, I have. And today, God placed, for whatever reason, this verse upon my broken heart. 

When I look behind, or get lost in my despair, I’ve tried to especially count my blessings. My family, the friends I do see, my sisters, my husband. Sing. Sing O barren woman, Sing. 

Solomon writes about for everything there is a season. Joshua heard from God to be courageous. Jeremiah writes his call from God, God’s plan to give him a future and a hope. All these things combine to remind me that God has a plan. He, in His wisdom, has led me here. To this place. Has provided me with the blessings I have, and he has NOT forgotten me.

Though the mountains be shaken 
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken 
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

God has compassion on me. He will not remove Himself, or his covenant of peace, from my life. God will forge my life, He is in charge. The chapter speaks of God coming back to His people. God as the creator. His love for us is not shaken.

Whatever season of life I’m in, may I see God’s hand. I think back on my life, of all God has brought me through, and know that for everything there is a purpose. There is a purpose for this as well. God will not leave me, He does not forsake His children. He hears our cries for help, and has compassion. And while I am here, I will sing. 

Choice

June 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Is there a right choice? Between two turning points? 

I’m ready to graduate. 4 weeks and counting. And I’m taking my boards early. Which…I may have jumped the gun. I haven’t been able to study as much as I wished. However, 4 more weeks to cram it in, and my practice tests have been steadily improving. So… here we go right? But, because I’m taking my boards early, that means I am able to do other things early. Like, find a job. 

Oh, finding a job. So far, I’ve been to 5 interviews. 1 feels right, the other four are just a blur. Would I work there? Who offers more benefits? What if they don’t like me? What if I’m not good enough?

??????

Ahhhhhhhh. I have being a “new grad”. When can I just have all the knowledge? 

I get it. It’s a process. No one starts out an expert. But it’s a little nerve wracking to have people start coming to you, wanting to know what’s wrong with them, and to not be an expert. Let’s be honest. Also, a lot of the jobs I applied for (3 out of the 5) are places I had clinical in. Meaning, these people know me. As a student. As someone who didn’t have most of the answers before. And here I am, moseying on back, ready to put my 3 cents into the pot and start actually seeing real people. On my own.

So I may be freaking out.  

Really, it boils down to 2 choices. Which, actually, I haven’t officially heard back from either choice that I’ve gotten the job. But, honestly, I’m pretty sure at both places I’ve gotten the job. So, here I am, weighing the pros and cons. I’m so nervous about picking the wrong spot or deciding the wrong thing. 

And here it is, at 5:18 on my day of rest. And my mind is not restful.

I started the day with Jesus. But I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong, that this is my concern right now. Not coming closer to the savior. Not spending the last 4 hours of the sabbath being with family, talking about God, or praying. But worrying.

And that’s just not gonna cut it. This was my day off. From opening my boards books, from taking practice tests and cramming in tons of knowledge. This is it. Tomorrow the week starts all over again and I don’t get another chance to relax until next Sabbath. 

I will not waste this worrying.

It’s a choice. I can choose to be joyful. I can choose to rest. 

Sea

May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

The sea. it calls me.

Gentle breeze and coconut smelling suntan lotion mixed with sand in my fingers.

The sound of water football and frisbees flying overhead while sleeping beneath the afternoon warm; sun beating on my back and bugs crawling on my legs. 

Drifting in and out of consciousness with the sounds of the waves.

The sun setting slowly over little waves, going. going. An orange orb throwing pink and yellow and pale purples into the sky. 

Gone.

The light fading, going. going. 

Normal people turning into shadows, their shapes illuminated in street lights, just beginning to turn on. 

Shouts of children screaming into the water one last time before heading home to take baths and read books before floating into sleep, just a little burnt and eyelids heavy with sandy dreams.

Everyones gone.

The sea. In the morning.

Light dawning, coming. coming. Gentle lapping onto the shore, no one there to disturb the sound, all safely in their beds at home awaiting noon and the coming of heat.

Shapes, docks and lighthouses and early morning boats all coming slowly into picture, with birds calling to each other in the air. They land in flocks, and run away when I come to join them.

I wish I could join them.

They fly away and go so far. I am limited by my person sized legs and no wings and slow pace. 

Sometimes I think I could run to the end of the pier and take flight, but realize the water is too cold to fail.

So I stop.

The sea. In the fall with the wind tossing sand into my hair, kites flying above.

Storms come and whip the waves into peaks of anger, loud and violent. Safe on the beach, with my kite flying furiously, I pull my coat closer and close my eyes. 

The water smells like pure. 

It makes me think of apples and yellow leaves, and cinnamon tea. I love it now. 

In the winter the snow forms peaks over long forgotten footprints, and the water freezes into piles of cold. The few and brave traverse the peaks and slide down on their snow pant bottoms, then hurry back to drink hot chocolate and coffee in the warmth of soft light. 

It is cold, the sea. Birds that are brave still fly, somewhere. I don’t go to the end of the pier anymore, but seated on the sand with the frigid wind in my face, I feel like I should. Especially after christmas, when there seems to be no reason for it, this coldness.

Cleanup crews dig out the rubble, in March. The sea is coming to life. 

Dig, dig. Coming. Coming. A few come. On the days when the sun chooses to beat, more show up and some even jump in the sea, screaming, letting it numb their toes.

I just walk close by. It seems like it’s still hibernating, like it needs a little more time to come awake. So do I, I think. 

The sea. Always the sea. The soft, gentle caress, the loud angry roars, the soothing lap of waves. This is the sea. And it is mine. I want to shout that to the people who throw sand on my towel, who yell and crowd and drink their beer. This is sea is mine. I love it, it is mine.