I stood barefoot on the salt and pepper ground swallowed up by the dense, gray layer of moisture suspended all around me. With every effort I could muster, I stopped the endless thoughts in my head and listened to the soft crashing of waves and rolling of seas that lie just beyond my arms reach. They captivated me long enough to settle my mind into a state of awe and then a swell of endless thoughts would crash in my head disturbing that brief yet extraordinary moment of distraction and tranquility.
My intention for the next 3 days was simply to leave this place with clear answers for a multitude of decisions that sat directly in font me. Each one complexly related to the others and all impacting the trajectory of my life. With every ounce of energy I had, I mustered up the courage and pleaded for help.
Show off. I will only listen. No more planning on my part. In your mysterious way, oh Lord, show me where to go from here.
I journeyed the peninsula on the far west side of Vancouver Island from Ucuelet to Tofino. Not more than a stretch of 20 km, but packed full of adventure. Rain forests edged wide sandy beaches that cupped gentle surfs, and rocky cliffs protected the inland from fierce sea swells of the Northern Pacific.
For two days, I strolled the waters edge every morning and every night. My mornings started with a plea for help. Answers that would chart out my life path. As the mornings wore on, I found myself so captivated by the beauty of this place that my thoughts could not help but contemplate the depths of the sea, the vastness of the great ocean, the mystery of suspended cloud cover, the reflection of light and the intensity of darkness, the sweet smell of fresh rain, the wonder of life big and small. Those endless life worries that consumed my thoughts before stepping foot on this island were ever more interrupted with the swelling emotion of gratitude as I soaked in the wonder of my surroundings.
As the sun set the evening before I was to depart. I strolled the beach one last time basking in my own heart’s state of wonder for creation that had provided a welcome distraction these last few days. And just as tears began to fill my eyes and heaviness started to well up in my soul at the realization that I was leaving this place with no more clarity than when I arrived, you whispered.
I have you hemmed in behind and before, sweet child. I have you covered with my hand.
Although a peace settled into my soul, I worked hard to try and conjure up the remainder of this passage in an effort to unravel exactly how it applied to me. But as hard as I tried, I could recall no more. So I made a mental note to look it up in the coming days.
Settling in for a 2 hour fairy ride back to the mainland, I decided catch up with some online reading. A couple of clicks took me directly to one of my regular daily reads, She Reads Truth. With the same wonder and amazement I had experienced the last couple of days looking over the vast ocean, contemplating the mysteries of suspended cloud covers, the awesomeness of light and darkness, and the pure wonder of life and creation I let my eyes settle on the words before me. It was a grace day, indeed.
Tears clouded my eyes as I read through the passage. The same creator of all things wondrous that my eyes had just witnessed had woven together a series of events specifically for me. You have searched me and known me. You discern when I come and when I go. You know when I sit and when I rise. You know every word before it is even on my tongue. You are familiar with all my ways. (My paraphrase)
Oh my heart! I That tender, soft message delivered in the foggiest of settings late in the evening a night before suddenly became so big and so clear. A light in the darkness. As I settled on the edge of the sea and rose at dawn contemplating all your ways, I lost site of the simple fact that you created me and knew all my days before I was even a thought to my parents. If I were to try and count how many small details You know about me and my life, it would outnumber the grains of the salt and pepper sands I had just left.
It’s been a little over a month since my trip and this incredible grace experience. I wrote it down as soon as I returned out of sheer excitement and also knowing in my heart that it would just be a matter of time before I’d need a reminder. While the memory is still as clear as day, today was one of those days. I needed a fresh reminder that I am hemmed in behind and before.