Saturday, March 1, 2014

From my Nature Journal: The Long Journey

A long, barefoot walk along the Atlantic shoreline at low tide...

I look back intermittently upon firm footprints, sure, distinct, uniquely paced and directed to my various digressions and curiosities along the way. They create a history, of a walk, yes, but also perhaps a symbolic portrayal of a life’s journey.

After some time I turn back. It is a rising tide now, all footprints obliterated by breaking waves. There is no residual indication they had ever existed, nor that I had ever passed that way two hours before. My presence seems to have been of no consequence.

In times of doubt and flagging courage I am tempted to see my life’s journey like this, no residual impact. But I think again. Brief? Yes. Momentary? Yes. But of no consequence? No.

Along that shore I tended blessing and grace to the myriad flotsam and jetsam I encountered along the way. To what end? Aren’t others’ storm-tossed lives also transitory, as fleeting as my own, leaving no prints along their chosen shorelines? Yes. But blessing and grace always pay forward, tend ahead, not backward, always lean into others’ futures, beyond. Blessing endures.

...Blessing and grace always pay forward,
tend ahead... Blessing endures.

Of no consequence?

Along that shore I also extolled my Creator God, that only One completely Eternal, in Whose heart my footprints still remain, etched permanently, tracked across the lasting sands of God's Father-heart. Praise endures.

Along that shore my own heart seemed to burst in joyous, aching gratitude for the simple beauties of sight and sound, touch and smell -- birds, shells and their fragments, waves, sand patterns, sky, salt-air, grasses, heat and coolness, seeds, rain, creatures strange and familiar, smoothed stones, fog, sunrise and sunset, wind, flowers, thunder, dunes, breeze on bare skin, tracks, colors, clouds -- each alternately taking my breath away, yet causing me to praise my Maker while I had that breath. Gratitude endures.
Along that shore God held sweet communion with me, spoke with me, challenged me, reminded me that though my life passes as a blink of an eye, he will one day bodily welcome me in familiarity, eternally, an old friend. Memory endures.

Along that shore I sowed pregnant seeds among the dunes: I loved and was loved. I taught and was taught. I sang and was sung to. I blessed and was blessed. I instilled faith and hope, and such was also instilled in me. Love, faith and hope endure.
Impacts as these are not as footprints further up from the waterline, prints that simply last longer than those where the waves break but still are eventually erased by larger waves, higher winds or driving rain. Impacts as these are as everlasting as God Himself, treasures laid up in God's heaven, imperishable, immortal, abiding.

My life is wrapped in his, mingled in Omnipresence, a journey without end.

~~RGM, from an earlier journal entry, after a

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