Friday, November 24, 2006

Beach Walking Wake Up

The drapes were blowing through the patio doors. . . . billowing actually . . . catching my eye and my breath with the grandness. But I was troubled as well. Open doors would make sense if we were in the heat of an Alabama summer. But this was a pre-Thanksgiving walk along an almost uninhabited beach.

Still one room and then another and another were all experiencing the breeze. A suggestion of normalcy existed. Furniture awaited fulfillment of function. Patio chairs sat empty.

Then I saw the upturned armchair, the broken window. And cold reality joined the wind.

The hotel was abandoned. Concrete cubes still contained the remains of what once meant comfort to castle-building kids, sun-scorched teens, and fished out men and women. But no soul would check in to this inn again.

Hurricanes bring both destruction and great change.

I had just been considering the exhilaration that is my life -- a sunny day, health to walk the sands with smile-filled energy, friends with whom to play and contemplate everything from Scrabble strategies to church planting. Yet moments before I saw the open windows I had allowed a brief moment of reality to sit in. One slight shift and the landscape would change drastically. One loss, one false move, one disappointment and the shell might remain but day-in/day-out would seem so empty.

Sooooo . . . I turned my gaze to the sun and kept walking, leaving reality for another day.

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