Water. I spent the day in water. And let me tell you, life doesn't get a whole lot better than this. Not for someone like me, anyway. BB and his wife took RE (who flew in from the Palouse yesterday) and me to Long Beach this morning. Long Beach. Hmmm, I wonder how many of those there are in the world: places called 'Long Beach', I mean. My older brother was born in one such place in California. Another Long Beach, on the coast of an ocean far more familiar to me than this one, was a place where my middle sister and cousin, at the ages of about eight and nine were caught in a riptide. My mother, panicking, ran into the surf after them. My father, a cooler head even in the worst of circumstances, quickly ran OUT of the water, down the sand ahead of the current, leapt into the water to catch them when they reached him.
This Long Beach is on the Atlantic Ocean. I'm not sure what it's like in other places, but here in Massachusetts, the Atlantic is a quiet sea. It reminds me of Puget Sound with its quiet lapping waves. The Pacific, in contrast, is like the wild rebellious sibling that cannot be mastered or tamed. I was expecting crashing waves to dive through, where the sand tumbles through the water and into the crevasses of my suit. But this was water to swim in, which BB did, far down the beach. However, the tide was enough that he felt a bit queasy on his return trip back toward us, when he was trying to do the backstroke. I, on the otherhand, merely floated on my back, and there's nothing like saltwater to keep a person afloat.
Like my mother before me, I've never met a sea I didn't want to dip my toes in. But back down a road roofed with trees at the beautiful house BB and E own with her parents, waited a large, clean, isolated pool. So it didn't take much convincing for the four of us to wipe the sand from our toes and head home where we slipped into a simple rhythm--doing exactly what we wanted to do--for the rest of the afternoon. With E's mom, B, we shared our stories, spoke of large things and small, floated a little, and listened to the melody of the trees, a little music, and the very quick flutter hummingbirds moving into the garden. It was sweet and peaceful, and we were our own small community on this summer afternoon. The sun, the blue sky, the sparkling water meeting so perfectly within me it was a holy moment just to float there.
Yes, that's what it was: a Holy moment. Floating there in the water, I thought of how simple life can be and how complicated I often make it. How much I struggle to figure out what I should do, what He's saying, what this means, when what He really wants from me is to float. He is the pool and I merely float. Be still, He says in the Psalms (Oh, how often He has to say this!!!) and know that I am God. "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength," Isaiah says. In quietness. In a quiet, restful, floating-on-your-back day I experience this as a living reality. He is the pool on which I float. I can trust Him to hold me up. That is my confidence. In Him.
I am a water baby. Yes. But He meets me in the water.
PS. We had the MOST AMAZING lobster-boil for dinner. If I wasn't holding out for Jesus (seriously), I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven this evening.