With family visits to the ocean or our dilapidated family cabin on a small Indiana lake or to the massive Great Lakes, my love for the water deepened. In the waters I sat by, I sensed the awe-inspiring presence of the Creator of the Universe. In the early years I rode my father's shoulders down Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park wondering if there was an end to that huge Great Lake ahead of us. In elementary years I hiked along brooks & streams in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina only a few hours away from my mountain home - hearing the whale cry in the night hours as we camped on the beach & visiting lighthouses dreaming of pirates gold.
We were collectors in those days -- grabbing up bits of driftwood left behind, shells abandoned by sea creatures, broken shells, pieces of glass worn smooth by the ocean's tide. Each trip resulted in a cache of treasure for my collection at home. My mom's plant beds became the home of sand & shells that could no longer be held inside. Large pieces of driftwood decorated our walkways and garden paths. What I couldn't seem to part with though was the sea glass. It was my most treasured find when we visited the shore. Small bottles of collected sea glass decorated my nightstand, window sills & shelves. They spilled into the bathroom counters & window sills in the kitchen.
My life has taken me away from the sea - to cornfields & cow pastures & the whistling of the wind in the old shag bark hickory tree outside my home. I miss the sea. I need the sea. And today, I walked beside the sea greeting the rising sun when a glimmer caught my eye. My heart leapt - filled with that joy I'd felt as a little girl when I spotted a piece of sea glass. And seeing the reflection of that sea glass delivered by the tide brought me back to the complete joy of a 6 year old. I bent down & picked it up. I was holding a piece of the sea.
"Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places made smooth... " Isaiah 40:4