one of my favorite places in the world to be is sitting along our sleepy fog-lined coast, listening to the continuous roar of the ocean and the thundering crashing against the shore with my legs hanging over the edge of the seawall where i like to sit. i smell that ocean spray, which breaks into a mist as it floats and splashes across my cheeks and rises into my nostrils. my eyelashes are dusted with water and salt…my face is wet and i dab my eyes so i can see. not one will venture into the ocean today, but i hear a few lone people strolling behind me along the oceanside walk every five or so minutes. it’s really quiet today. i feel wonderful.
today, i wish i could place my fingers above my keyboard and simply watch my thoughts flow out, fitting themselves and arranging all that is complex and confusing into something plain. that the beauty and safety of my outsides would mirror my insides and with an easy flick of my index finger and tap of my thumb, the skies would open up and the sun would burst through. i’d realize simplistic answers to my tragically dramatic life questions.
but words do not come. they rush and flow and tumble, all crashing about my mind like a surge, pulling back and becoming quiet again. it seems. my thoughts are like a swell: the spray of an idea and a surge of inspiration rolling and rumbling together, trying to grasp something or the other, but clutching nothing in particular.
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i never knew how much understanding i lacked until this week—okay, well i was pretty aware, but it’s like a constant wake up call with cold water to the face…special hmm. but it seems that i know my weaknesses more all the time! when i was eighteen, twenty, twenty-two: i felt like life was so conquerable..i knew what was what. and at twenty-five, i see more and more how all of my plans have been so teensy-tiny in comparison to god’s major plan. my big picture view is/was/will be so askew.
so here i am, constantly finding myself clutching for my own understanding and always coming up null. i know it’s not cruel that god doesn’t let me conquer things on my own. i know that he knows that i know that i just don’t need to know. i don’t! i don’t need to know what’s at every corner and have life so figured out. yet time after time, i smack my head against the wall trying to figure it anyways, relying on myself and getting stuck to the point of desperation.
hello today. that’s exactly where i was. so consumed with all the things i have to figure out + do on my own. all by myself, woman on an island, the whole shebang! so much so that one of my coworkers is leaving cookies on my stinkin desk because i’m so distracted (thanks by the way).
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sometimes in the summer the fog is so bad here in santa cruz. you just wait and wait and wait for the marine layer to peel away and for the sun to come gushing through with all it’s warmth and wonderfulness. but when it comes back in the evening as you’re cozying up to a bonfire, it’s just perfect, some relief from that heat. it’s lovely.
i can’t handle all the heat (all that life would have me take on + charge at on my own)..i’m not strong enough to do it all. i need a covering. i need a great big loving, merciful, gift-giving, forgiving god to spread out his great big arms and surround me, help me, give me strength and give me joy. and to remind me that i don’t have to do it on my own. it’s just not as sweet to do it all alone, and it’s not even possible.
how long will i butt up against my own inabilities to do it all?! who the heck knows. but i don’t want to. i don’t want to consistently shun god’s great covering for the measley covering i can provide myself with—which is absolutely so super duper wimpy in comparison. really wimpy my friends. so i want to embrace again his wonderful care, no matter how many times i have to turn around from relying on myself. i want to step under his covering and stand boldly in plain ol relief that it’s not all on me.
so i say bring on that great misty fog hovering bank baby.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you. Psalm 84:11-12
**image taken in santa cruz