The warm gulf water ran over my feet as I walked the shoreline. The soothing sound of the little waves, each a second or so after the last, in perfect rhythm, began to rest my soul. The sun was just starting to set, the air cooling off just enough to enjoy being outside. The pelicans were diving into the water to feed and then flapping their wings incessantly to gain enough power to lift off and fly to another spot. There were quite a few pelicans and a few seagulls who were following the pelicans and at times even sitting on the back of the pelican’s head when they were under water grabbing at fish. It was beautiful to watch.
The entrance to the beach was filled with people, many sitting at picnic tables, eating dinner and playing loud salsa music. There was a group playing volleyball and many in the water. I walked fairly quickly across the sand and toward the more desolate part of the beach. There were people sporadically down the shoreline, some on blankets or chairs, some like me, sitting in the sand. We were all watching the sun begin to fall into the water.
Sunrise and sunset are really therapeutic for me. During sunrise, I find myself riveted by the colors and how quick the sun comes up once it makes its first light. I always thank the universe for the day. Sometimes I thank God. It reminds me that every day is a new opportunity to make something better, right a wrong, forgive, or just move forward. Although I don’t always move forward, my intention is there. A sunset allows me to be grateful for the day I have had, and think about the coming day. There is something about watching the ball of fire drop into the water. Sunset over water can almost bring me to tears. I find my mouth is a little open in awe, and my shoulders drop, my body relaxes.
This sunset was no different. I finally began to relax after being a bundle of emotions. I feel like I am continually riding a roller coaster of moods, feelings and thoughts. I don’t like it. I don’t feel happy. I don’t feel grateful. I feel like a victim, and I don’t like feeling that way. The emotions are getting the best of me, with tears forming more quickly than usual and laughter being a bit harder to hear. The bundle of nerves and emotions are getting the best of me.
As I sat there I began to think about the fact that I do thank the universe, I don’t generally thank God. Why? I hear people say, “give it up to God,” and I think huh? What can God do? I have to take care of things. I have to worry about what will happen next. God doesn’t do everything. If that was the case, why does God take good people early and keep some of the most hateful people alive? If that was the case, why do bad things happen?
I wasn’t raised with that type of faith and have definitely been looking for it most of my life. When I was in my late 20’s, a friend of mine at work was killed after being caught in a high speed chase between 2 thugs and police that crossed from Newark into Elizabeth, New Jersey. She was hit by a fast moving police cruiser and killed instantly. It was horrible. I remember being at the church for the service. This was my first time at a Baptist funeral. The women in their white nurse’s uniforms dashing through the standing room only congregation helping people who passed out or were heading that way was something I had never encountered. I never had been to a funeral where there was clapping, and singing and a lot of talk about going home to be with God. As sad as the moment was, people were smiling and singing and really reveling in the fact that she was going home. It was the most beautiful service I had ever seen. And it hit me hard, I did not have that faith. I was not taught that faith. My family didn’t really speak about God as going home, I’m not sure anyone ever believed that in my family.
That faith has served so many well. The idea of praying hard and giving it up to God is something I continue to work toward. I say prayers at night but perhaps I am not allowing myself to truly give my troubled heart to God. Perhaps that is my next step in my journey. To truly give my troubles over to God, to have faith in what will be versus being worried, upset, and a mess of emotions over what I think.
As the sun rose today and I watched the sky lighten, I realized that I want to find more faith, not organized religion, but faith in what will be. I cannot be in control over everything and although I have given up some control, there is more to do.
Perhaps as the sun sets today I will give my troubled heart over to God and ask that I be guided. I am tired of being the guide.
Sunrise and sunset. The moments in life where my emotions settle a bit and I sigh, relax and smile.
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