Late April, I sat on this beach (which is really pure white, but curiously looks dirty in this photo -- I think shadows are causing that)....as I said, I sat on this beach at 5:30am in my bed clothes: a tank top, yoga pants and barefeet (I didn't know I was going to walk out on the beach -- my feet took me there before my eyes were quite awake).
...I sat on this beach at 5:30am with -- you'll not believe this -- a sun rising in the East and a full moon setting in the West. It was a scene so utterly beautiful that it bordered on surreal.
The birds weren't quite up yet, at first. Neither was the sun. The sand was swept clear of footprints during the night, so that the only prints were those of coyotes, hermit crabs, and ...me. When I first arrived, the moon and a single star were the most visible features in the sky. They were surrounded by a white haze, then, as the sun rose, the star and moon faded into a blue-grey haze and finally tucked beneath the Earth.
Before the moon set, and while the sun was rising, colouring the Eastern horizon, pelicans arrived. Pelicans always look like Jurassic birds to me, dinosaur-like. They never fail to make me smile. They flew in a line, one leading six or so across the sea in front of me.
The seagulls arrived a bit later (they are apparently more lazy than the pelicans). What the seagulls lack in early rising, they make up for in worship. Gathered together by the hundreds, a large group met on an tidal island out in the Gulf a ways, while another group gathered on shore, not far from me. They cackled and cawed and made such a ruckus that I'm sure they were having a worshipful songfest to start their day off right.
Just when I thought all was perfect -- just when I was about to join the seagull's prayer meeting -- three dolphins swam across the horizon. Really. "If this was a movie, we'd roll our eyes at this point," I thought. A sunrise on my left, a full setting moon and stars on my right, waves crashing, seagulls worshipping, pelicans flying, and... dolphins? It was a little over-the-top, but in a perfect sort of way.
Just then a dolphin leaped out of the water. (That was definitely over-the-top)
I couldn't be silent any longer. With a quick glance at the beach houses behind me, to be sure I was still alone, I joined the seagulls in worship, singing quite loudly the song that came to mind first, which fittingly begins with these words:
Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?
Well I know my Redeemer lives.
If I didn't know my Redeemer lives before the dawn of April 29th, 2010, I'd have realized it right then, right there on that Alabama beach.
And that is why the Gulf Coast is worth saving from the oil spill.
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