Having been married to a sailor for the first 20 years of our marriage, we lived near the water. I grew up with a river in our city, along with Oil Creek. In the summer we would swim or play along the banks of the Allegheny river and in the winter we saw the river freeze over. In the spring we knew that the ice would melt enough to flow and there would be a pile up of ice where the Allegheny met Oil Creek. The downtown area would flood in the spring. That was the rhythm of my life when I was a child.
When we married, I lived by the Atlantic ocean. I will always remember the first time seeing the ocean. It is so vast and grey. I loved it. We spent many weekends during late spring, summer and early fall laying on towels and body surfing. Wonderful memories.
Moving to Japan, we lived on Sagami Bay which flowed into the Pacific Ocean. The beaches were black because they were formed by the volcanic ash from Mt. Fuji. The beaches were not bare-footed beaches, the surface was hard and coarse . The waters would churn up from typhoons and the sea would look angry.
The next body of water we lived on was Schoodic Bay in the Bay of Maine, part of the Atlantic. The coast of Maine is something to behold. It is majestic and bold. Water agitates and foams crashing over the rock bound coast. The noise of the water echoes in my memory, along with the sea water smell . Each drive along the scenic coast of the Acadia National Park was different. Granted there were times during the summer when I would be trying to get to the base and find myself behind a tourist and mumble, “yes, people, that’s the water, and those are rocks and yes it’s beautiful, but, I need to get moving.” We can take beauty for granted when we see it daily.
In San Diego our house had a million dollar view. The house was not worth that, but the view was incredible. Each day I looked over the bay heading into the Naval Base. I saw the Coronado Bridge and Point Loma. Without exception the Lord would paint a different sunset with His palette of colors, swirling tones and highlights to delight any eye watching for the green flash as the sun dipped past the horizon.
In Charleston, as we hit our ‘senior’ status, we would walk the shore of Sullivan’s Island. Holding hands and talking above the quiet flop of the water on the shore we would reminisce or talk of our future. It was our place of solitude.
I was reminded this week of these places as I have looked over the lake. At times the water is still, no movement. Other times with the wind, white caps are visible. The occasional speed boat will stir up waves that lap against the shore. Ducks land and glide across the lake, each taking turns dipping under the water to catch some food.
Water can be like our lives. There are times when we get all churned up, tossing things that are causing turmoil within us. Sometimes we get angry and we crash over people we love, dunking them in our attitude. Once in a while we are dark and foreboding, other times we are reflecting the bright light of our Creator.
Psalm 23:2-3a, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;” (NKJV)
I have needed this week. My soul has been refreshed. Refreshed by the view of the lake, refreshed with being with my daughter and her husband and refreshed with my granddaughter. Her delight in all things spurs me on to look at the world as she does.