Yesterday morning, I awoke with a plan. After my workout in the pool, I made a pilgrimage to the ocean. Passing a memory ‘tree’ made of wood and shells, dedicated to the memory of a local young boy who had died of cancer, I stopped for a moment, closed my eyes, said a prayer, and listened to the clink-clink sound of the wind sweeping against the shells.
Opening my eyes, I surveyed the landscape: a couple of beach boys had finished writing up the daily high and low tide-times, flag colours (blue was up on the board… for man-o-war!) and temperature, and were now busy laying out cushions and umbrellas. A construction crew was busy working on the jetty at one end, while a lone para-sailer was visible in the other direction. The incoming waves – with their hallucinatory effect – foamed up onto the shore, receding each time to reveal a new array of sea-life. Shells surrounded me absolutely everywhere.
As wood planks gave way to sandy ground on the nearly empty beach, I laid aside the cane to undo my sandals. A few days earlier, to my astonishment, I noticed that I could walk on the sand with relative ease – in bare feet and without my cane! Best of all, I could feel the muscles of my feet plowing through each step, working hard to grip the next mound of sand or pile of shells. As each foot lifted and landed, I felt greater strength returning to my legs.
I reached the edge of the ocean, and smiled. What more could I ask for, on this last day of 2009, than to be greeted by this great sea of turquoise-to-deep-blue; this vast canvas dotted with boats along the horizon; this breathtaking sight of feathery clouds and seagulls frozen mid-flight.
Heaven meets earth on the eve of 2010. Amen.