Earth Day at the Beach

This Friday, April 22 is Earth Day. For Christians Earth Day can be an opportunity to join with everyone in celebrating this incredible gift and committing to protect it, but for us there is also the chance to celebrate our Creator. Several years ago I spent time on Earth Day reflecting on time I had spent at the beach growing up (for this Nashville boy that was usually on the panhandle of Florida). Looking back on it from the vantage point of my adulthood I saw grace that I had never realized — that God was loving me through the gift of the earth around us. God’s love to me appeared like the love of a mother for a child. I wrote a poem that I thought I would share with you now that I live here at the beach on Earth Day 2016:

Great Blue Mystery

Building drip castles in the sand

I dig until the dry sand turns to mud

On mounds of sand the mud drips and dries

Leaning layered Seussian towers one after another

Every grain of my brand new colony

Delivered by the great blue mystery

On days long gone when no one paid any mind


I walk to the edge

Where the eternal exchange occurs

Water watering the sand and earth cementing the ocean floor

I chase a wave until another chases me back

Dancing on the edge of world and great blue mystery

A game that cannot be lost or won


I venture in waist high

Now an unsung boxing champion going through the ranks

I defeat wave after wave with a punch

Each more formidable than the last

Once all is conquered I drift out

The water laps over my shoulders as I stand on tip toes

My head, now no more than a grain of sand, peers out

Wondering over the unventured depths of the great blue mystery


Back on shore a happy exhaustion sets in

A towel spread over dimples in the sand becomes my king sized bed

Water evaporates in the breeze keeping me cool

Leaving licks of salt on my sun drenched skin


I am swaddled into slow heavy breathes by the great blue mystery

Don’t ever let me leave

If I can just stay on the edge

Keep me close

Keep me close

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