The one day I didn’t have to go to work, I still got woken up early because we were heading out on a small trip. My parents and I go out often, but only to places that are close to the main city. My parents love greenerie, but they’re not real fans of the outdoors. On the other hand, I really enjoy spending some time outside -when it’s not too hot. I like the beach, I love the forests and mountains. Today we drove almost three hours south to go visit one of my uncles, and go to the beach. On the way there I finished reading a book that I had been wanting to finish for a day or two.
After seeing my uncle and his family we headed out to spend some time at a quiet beach. When we got there everything was very serene. There were less than twenty people on that large stretch of sand and salty water. We parked at one end of the beach and I took of my sandals to walk to the other end and back. It had been a long time since I had last felt the wet beach sand under my toes. My parents didn’t follow me to where I walked, so my only company became the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks at the other end of the beach stretch; it helped me think about what I had just finished reading.
While walking I realized that it had been years since I had had peace at a place like that. I remember one morning six years ago, I was at a youth group retreat and woke up early one morning. It must have been around 5 a.m., since the sky was starting to show its blues without displaying any sun rays. I got out of our cabin and walked to the small dock that led the way to the lagoon, and I just sat there waiting for the sun to rise. I remember having watched the sunset the day before. On the same dock I watched night fall and storm approaching. There had been some people swimming when it was all dark, and I would wait for the light of the thunders to shine on their faces; it was the only way I could distinguish who was still in the water. This were just some of the many times I’ve sat contemplating my natural surroundings, gazing a creation. Today was a reminder that I need to go back to sunsets and sunrises, for these have been moments that bring tears to my eyes. They remind me of how small I am, and of how mortal. They remind me of God’s precission and His incredibly attention to detail. They remind that I need to be in such silence, and in company of His creation, to be able to hear His whisper. The thoughts that raced through my mind today cannot be written in one blogpost, and they certainly cannot be digested in one three-hour ride back. However, there was one passage in the book that I identified with as I got through the day:
“God is an artist, I think to myself. I have known this for a long time, seeing His brushwork in the sunrise and sunset, and His sculpting in the mountains and the rivers. But the night sky is His greatest work. And I would have never known it if I had stayed in Houston. I would have bought a little condo and filled it with Ikea trinkets and dated some girl just because she was hot and would have read self-help books, end to end, one after another, trying to fix the gaping hole in the bottom of my soul, the hole that, right now, seems plugged with Orion, allowing my soul to collect that feeling of belonging and love you only get when you stop long enough to engage the obvious.”
-Don Miller, Through Painted Deserts
Thank you, Father, for making sunrises and sunsets.