Ever wondered what it’d be like to sit on a beach alone at 5:30 in the morning? It’s so dark that the white crests of the waves are the only way to tell where the sand stops and just becomes water. Every few seconds, the Bald Head Island lighthouse flickers white. The Big Dipper and Small Dipper, both above me in the big, dark sky – they are getting fainter now as the lavender light of the morning sun creeps in over the horizon. The tide is low and rough, and I can hear the swell and crash of every wave. The breeze is perfect and the air smells warm and salty. I wonder if there is anyone else out here.
Yesterday on my sunrise walk, I saw a woman sleeping. Pillow, beach towel, and peace are the three things I noticed. A few yards further, I saw a man meditating, his fingers connected to make a circle at the fronts of his shins, his eyes closed and his legs crossed. Again, peace.
It’s 6:09 now and much easier to see. I can read the words in my Bible without a flashlight. The sky looks like cotton candy and every time I pause from writing to look up, I see a new cloud.
I smile. Peace, once more.
I spot an animal down the beach and notice tracks beside me. Did this little guy walk past me and I missed him?
I see more people. Mostly alone. Some couples. Two parents with their young children. And then, they all stop to stare.
“Sonder” – the realization that each random passerby is living a live as vivid and complex as your own.
The same man I saw meditating yesterday was out again today, and I saw him walk closer to the shore to take a picture.
Being fully surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation…
Connecting all of the senses simultaneously in wonder and awe…
Just being still, knowing that a new day is beginning and having gratitude for the breath just taken…
That’s p e a c e.
Realizing that we have choices each day, the ability to choose joy and peace and love rather than sadness or anger or hate. Realizing that we can choose to be kind, no matter how others treat us, because negative people are suffering. Realizing that maybe a smile or kind word is what they need to turn their gaze the other way.
The choices we make craft our life, and if we aren’t careful we will spend our lives focusing on all that’s wrong and miss all that’s available, all that’s peaceful and all that’s beautiful.
May peace be with you today, and always.