I take a walk on the beach by myself. The shore is completely deserted. Cruise ships and barges offshore twinkle from afar, giving me a hint as to where the sky met the sea in a dark blue haze. A crescent moon hangs in the sky, a handful of stars splashed and scattered across the sky, and the pier in the distance glows, like some ethereal bridge to another world.
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed true solitude like this. As far as I can see in either direction I am truly alone, except for maybe a few seagulls and even they were sleepy. I sit on a bench swing that overlooked the ocean and just stared up at the sky.
I missed moments like this. It seemed like in I was in Australia, I often took moments like this for granted: staring off at the crashing waves, peering off the edge of a dangerous cliff, sitting on the sand of Maroubra beach in the wintertime.
In Orlando, there’s too much concrete, too much glass.
But something about this night feels incredibly pure. Sacred, even. I pray like I haven’t prayed in a really long time, pouring out my heart, messily, earnestly and in waves. I’m recognizing that although I often disagree with how He sometimes allows events and circumstances to unfold–mostly through the mere limited lens of how it makes me feel or pushes me to grow in an unwelcome way–there is always a calm, always a break, always a moment where we reach the plateau after any grueling, arduous climb. I perceive the growth, the unraveling of events–and myself and all my insecurities and weaknesses within them–and recognize how everything comes to fruition eventually. Everything has its time and place. I have a few moments to collect my breath, sit on a star-watching rock and enjoy the view from the other side of doubt and fear.
I feel deep assurance and peace, a transcendent peace. The emotions that pound and crash over me are no longer suffocating anxiety or paralyzing fear, but deep joy and exuberant hope.
Laughing and feeling rather foolish, I leap to my feet and spin around with my arms wide open and it feels like for a second, that I am embracing God, the universe, the tortured past, the beautiful present and the mysterious future all at once.
It’s getting cold and I don’t want to needlessly keep the roommates up, so I head back to the hotel room.
I know the waves will wash away these footprints by morning, but for once, I’m okay with letting go.