If I were to ask what this image is you are viewing, some of you will get it right away and some will be left wondering (or at least guessing).
Spontaneous and opportunistic are how I would describe my style of photography and prose. In this case I used my cell phone camera because that is all I had available for the moment to snap this photograph.
This image is 100% natural, and laid next to me on the couch early this morning as the sun began to shine brilliantly through an east window in our living room. The sunlight which created a wonderful sheen in the center and faint shadows at the edges captured my attention. Of course, the waves are like a surfer’s paradise and can’t be overlooked.
I share this for the sheer pleasure of doing so. This image is of Carson’s side as the sun illuminated his silky fur. Not all Westie’s are silky, but he certainly is. Carson is a bit unusual in that he likes humans a lot, but doesn’t want to be caressed too much. He is his own dog, so-to-speak. So, when an opportunity comes along, like this morning’s, where he wanted to rest next to me, I looked upon him with admiration and affection.
What is it about our beloved pets that creates such a bond? Those who have and enjoy their pets know that answer… for it lies in the heart.
I wish I could take credit for this title because I find it so profoundly accurate to the story I am about to share in this post. Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message Bible, developed this paraphrase from a passage about surrendering our burdens to Christ whose grace never ceases, but flows continually into our lives. Rather than simply create a word picture, I have included several photos of waves I recently watched and played in off the coast of the Dominican Republic. The time spent at the beach was as enjoyable as one can imagine!I really love waves. They remind me of clouds passing across the sky-an ever-changing panorama. I am in awe of surfers who navigate these fluid highways with stunning accuracy, and I thoroughly enjoy those jaw-dropping videos of waves rolling over surfers or crashing over reefs and onto shoreline rocks. Nature in motion. Breathtaking beauty. The visual and audible rhythm is soothing. At the same time waves can be extremely dangerous, especially the undertow and hidden objects below their momentous surfaces. Nevertheless, waves are awesome to behold and I count it a privilege whenever I can be near them (on or next to land, that is).While on the coast of sunny Punta Cana I was reminded of the words a friend spoke to me a few weeks ago. Tom lives in Florida and spends time lapping up the soft wave action of the panhandle. He often sits in the shallow water as the waves gently roll into him…repeatedly without end. He loves that. Tom discovered he has a very serious form of lymphoma cancer which devastated his body in short order. The good news is that his type of cancer is curable. However, the treatments last five months with week-long infusions, then rest and more infusions. Tom is away from his home during these treatments. His body suffered serious bone deterioration in joints and along his spine. Surgeries were necessary. It has been rough sailing for him and his wife.You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about Tom in the same context as waves. I’ll tell you. Before our vacation, I met with Tom for lunch and he explained the whole ordeal with cancer, treatments, etc. No pity-party, just facts. I’ll never forget the part where he talked about this journey and how his faith played a part in him keeping a positive attitude despite the circumstances. As he sat in his wheelchair, he kept motioning with his arms; he would extend them outward and then draw them inward in unison, like he was rowing a boat. He told me that God’s grace flowed into him just like the waves gently rolled into his chest as he sat in the shallow water of the ocean. Back and forth his arms moved. Then he said, ” I’m blessed, you know. I’ve been given so much and don’t deserve it all “.
Wheat, the staff of life, and so much more. The green blades to golden grains not only provide food for the world (sorry to all those who are gluten intolerant), but create a collage of beauty as they germinate from bright green sprouts in the winter, then grow into light green stalks in spring, and eventually turn into golden strands with prickly heads of grain in summer. Wheat is at its most exquisite best when a gentle breeze blows the mature stems in patches of waves that seem as light as clouds. Mesmerizing to watch. When shafts of early or late sunlight ply across a wheat field, an intense gold color presents itself in majestic panorama. Absolutely beautiful. And, when the combine or scythe take down the grains in early summer, the transition from a dormant seed to a life-giving grain is powerful. Quite transforming. To witness the staff of life develop from seed to strand is nature’s art in progress. I count this process a privilege to witness every year. So, I encourage you to grind some wheat, knead some dough, bake a loaf, and enjoy a hot slice of bread with a fresh pad of butter on it. Yummy to be sure, and one of life’s simple pleasures!