The beautiful lament


It's the best place in the world to be a color photographer. The vibrant personality of the beach is even painted on the buildings.


I body surf on a skim board and skin my knees on the bottom as the wave flips over the break and pummels me with a million grains of sand. My lips are chapped from the salt. My hair stands tall in the surf, whipped with wind and coated with ocean water. I laugh long and loud and my heart swells in my chest. I almost forgot how true belly-laughing, body encompassing joy feels.


I revel in the colors and stare deep into the wavy turquoise of a small fishing boat. I eat shrimp and grits for breakfast with a good friend and we swap stories of children and research, husbands and colleges hiring.


I come home from a day of number collecting, alive with the feeling of discovery, and the orange sun burns through the live oak covered in moss. This sun soaks me up instead of vice versa, sucking energy and coating me in a cool layer of sweat.


Finally, the weekend. A study over, I try to remember how to run my statistical program and end up falling asleep watching crime shows with my parents. Today, the beach. Again tomorrow, probably. I miss my husband and children, and the ache grows a little larger each day. God is good, and provides what I need just when I need it. A phone call from Aaron on a lonely afternoon, Katy's voice chirping with excitement over the phone as she describes her new toy, tells me about shopping at Scheel's with Grandpa.

Life is full. I feel fragile, my heart just repaired and the seams a bit dicey. A full heart almost bursting at those seams where my heart was broken.


The limbs of the live oak grow down, down to kiss the ground, a bough bowing, then rise up, up again toward the sun. I am the limb with the curvaceous growth, down on my knees broken, lifting face to the sun in praise.


The moss on her branches whispers weeping like the willows at home, a dance in the wind and lament as it dances. A picture of humanity in a gray-green wisp of moss. My God, the master poet, tells of the beautiful broken. Speaks to youth, and begs them to revel in His majesty. Today, God, I go out to revel in your creation, broken, but bound up; hopeless, but infused with your hope. You are glorious, my love, my Savior.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them." Remember him — before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. ~Ecclesiastes 12:1, 6-7
Listen as the wind blows
From across the great divide
Voices trapped in yearning
Memories trapped in time
The night is my companion
And solitude my guide
Would I spend forever here
And not be satisfied

Through this world I’ve stumbled
So many times betrayed
Trying to find an honest word
To find the truth enslaved
Oh you speak to me in riddles and
You speak to me in rhymes
My body aches to breathe your breath
You words keep me alive

Into this night I wander
It’s morning that I dread
Another day of knowing of
The path I fear to tread
Oh into the sea of waking dreams
I follow without pride
Nothing stands between us here
And I won’t be denied
~Possession, Sarah McLachlan~

Note: this is a secular love song. But I hear my relationship with God whispering through the lyrics; after all, it is like falling in love, knowing the unknowable God more each day. We are on another honeymoon together as He delivers gifts and buoys me up despite illness and grief to perform the tasks set before me. He is my strength and my song. If you are offended by secular music, simply ignore the link to this song.