Saturday, May 11, 2013

Charlie's Gift--God's Gift



Celebrating the end of the semester, Rickey and I went to St. Pete Beach for three days and two nights. The first morning I took a walk I slipped a timer into my pocket and headed off in the half light before sunrise. My plan was to find a quiet spot on the beach to do my centering prayer. The beach was mostly deserted, which I loved. The air had a tangy bite, which I also loved. The breeze whipped at my sweatshirt, and although I shivered a bit, I didn't really mind. I decided I'd keep walking to stay warm and later I'd look for a spot to pray. Later turned into an hour, and I was still walking. As the sun rose, people joined me, and I finally realized I needed to stop shortly, or I'd miss a private opportunity. I spotted a small bench and headed toward it.

For Charlie Kabbash's birthday in memory of Julia and Najib Kabbash. "Look what I gave you!"  read the small plaque attached to the heavy resin-concrete bench I'd found nestled on the edge of a sand dune.  I looked at the simple solid slats and smiled at the thoughtful, creative gift. Then I settled comfortably in place. Whoa! It was one thing to stand facing the bench admiring the structure and the message, but it was quite another thing to experience the meaning. There I sat looking at the wide expanse of the Gulf. With the sun gradually inching up behind me, I watched the waves roll and sparkle gloriously. I watched gulls soar and dip so at ease in their belonging. I watched clouds gather in thick, puffy white patches. Then I closed my eyes to center. Twenty minutes later my timer's gentle "bing" calls me back, and I open my eyes to the waves, to the birds, to the clouds, to the bench and to Charlie's real gift--a place to be present, a space to breathe, a way in to being transformed by love. 

5 comments:

Paul T. Corrigan said...

Anna, Beautiful. Just beautiful. I feel like I'm there with you (or there alone) for a moment. Your description is helping me pause. Thanks for sharing this with us.

David Norling said...

"Look what I gave you." I'll be hearing God whisper that phrase to me for a long time.

Sarah said...

Beautiful -- present and aware. Thank you.

RC said...

Beautiful post! I am so blessed that we share this kind of spirituality. I'm grateful to you and to God.
--Rickey

John Orzechowski said...

Beautiful, Anna. Among other things, I was struck by your description of the gulls "so at ease in their belonging." What a wonderful picture of prayer.

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