Summer is my favorite season. Everything feels rich and lush. The days are long and the sunshine warms my soul. I see the beauty of so many flowers with vibrant colors. The sky seems a little bluer to me. Everywhere around me I am reminded of creation. I pause so many times to give thanks to our creator for this beautiful world that we live in.
One of my favorite activities in the summer is to go to the beach. When I arrive at the beach the air smells different. I watch the waves roll in and out. As a teenager I lived on the east coast of Florida and the ocean was not far away. I went frequently and I learned the tides in the Atlantic Ocean are regular like clockwork. As a pastor I visited Fiji where some of my members lived. I was shocked to learn that the tides were very irregular. The way that people knew the tides were changing was to listen for the roosters to crow. Their crow indicated that the tide was coming in. What a different view of creation than the one I was used to.
Walking on the beach restores my soul. Getting my feet wet and feeling the sand move under my feet always reminds me of the vastness of the ocean compared to me. Initially when I walk, I sort through the everyday issues I am dealing with and then after those issues are resolved (or just put aside with no resolution) I turn to deeper thoughts. I ponder over how I have been serving others. I pray over those in my life who need prayers. I think about what will come next in my life, and wonder how God is preparing me for the next chapter. I always leave the walk feeling refreshed.
As a teenager I went to the beach frequently to see the sea turtles lay their eggs or to see the eggs hatching. Sea turtles are one of the miracles of creation. Sea turtles come back to the same place each year to lay their eggs. We would be cautious walking the beach since sea turtles will not come ashore if they are disturbed. We would then look for tracks to find where a sea turtle had dug a hole to lay her eggs. She would cry tears as she laid her eggs. Once she was on her nest, she would not be interrupted. When she finished, she would cover the hole with sand.
Weeks later we would come back and see the baby turtles push up through the sand and start walking toward the ocean. What a miracle that these babies know which way is the ocean.
This summer I invite you to pause and look around. I invite you to see creation with new eyes. Finally, I invite you to be grateful for our beautiful creation.
Rev. Dr. Linda A Holbrook is the pastor of Morgan Hill United Methodist Church. She attended Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas for her M.Div and Claremont School of Theology for her Doctor of Ministry. She is a member of the Interfaith Clergy Alliance. Linda may be contacted at [email protected].