Kiss from Heaven

     The allure of the ocean and a beach on which to walk is undeniable. The sand is a forgiving surface at low tide, offering unexpected keepsakes. The horizon of the ocean with its rolling and receding waves expands the mind to believe again in unseen adventures. Birds soar above the water’s surface, scouting for fish, then fold their wings and dive vertically in an instant to snatch their prey. Shells washed up to rest below the dunes that buffer traffic beyond thick vegetation, call out to you in passing saying “you can never have enough of us”.

     I walk, sing, pray, cry, and try to believe again in the missing element that keeps me from fully rejoicing in the day. I look to the ocean waves, the dog retrieving a ball ahead of me, the children and families wading out into the surf or digging in the sand while their parents keep watch. I see lovers holding hands or lying side by side, oblivious to others around them. My one consolation today is a small camera held in the palm of one hand, while collecting shells with the other and dropping them into already bulging pockets.
      I am trying to learn what it is to be alone. I am trying to be sensitive to and respect others’ need to be “alone” with themselves or their loved ones. I’m having a hard time thinking beyond the moment, because the complexity of thinking beyond the immediate is too unsettling. I can’t entertain divergent options for the future today, hoping beyond what I see and hear for the thing that will finally set the world back in tune with a universal need, seemingly out of my reach. For a moment I watch a child at play and marvel at how the small, nearly imperceptible burrowing of a sand crab or covering their own feet with sand to wiggle their toes and swish the sand away, is a delight they cannot be denied.
      And yet today, I am undone, trying to hold it together. Crying out for understanding, asking for wisdom, and the ability to focus on a path I hope will soon set my feet on a firmer foundation—not one of shifting sand. I walk out into the surf until I’m covered by ocean waves rolling in to meet a shoreline behind me now. I remember a passage from the book of Psalms:

Deep calls unto deep at the sound of Your waterfalls, all Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life….my foes taunt me, saying all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42: 7-11)

      Coming out of the water, and continuing down the beach, I arrive too soon at a familiar dune where I need to cross over and reluctantly transition back to the bustle of late morning vehicles and people determined to accomplish privatized tasks in the day. A parting beach-walk thought comes to mind:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts…..You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55: 8, 9, 12)

      It was then I saw in the sky a large “X” made by two planes whose paths’ had crossed earlier. It was the simplest of all the pictures I’d captured in the morning, but to me it was a parting “Kiss from Heaven”—– and I found myself trusting, again, the promise of a hug from an “O” would not be far off.

Karen Weber
July 3, 2014

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