Twenty-seven. Almost to the minute.

I am sitting on a small dune in South Haven, Michigan surrounded by sea grass and finely pebbled sand. Looking out across the lake, my eyes are speckled with images of tiny sail boats and a long, lean boardwalk with a beautiful red lighthouse at its tip, warning sailors of the shallow waters at the entrance of the harbor.

It is balmy; perfect, really. Josh Garrels accompanies me, my ears pleasantly listening to his poet heart and musical versatility. I stare at the serene—almost placid—Lake Michigan and breathe deeply as my spirit settles into the last minutes of my twenty-sixth year of life: a difficult one, to say the least.

“Lift up your shoulders, child; breathe in.

Carry the weight of love, you’ve been given,

Storm is passing by, light breaks in;

As you learn to sing.”

{Josh Garrels, Colors}

Sailboats glide gently in and out of the burst of sun reflecting off the water, their grey silhouettes beckoning adventure. Wind, sail, water, tranquility; a simpler life. Is that the secret?

The fading light is dancing on each flowing piece of sea grass, held within the halo of dusk, swaying gently in the sleepy wind.

Sunsets have always held a special fascination for me. Something about the source of our light and warmth going away, and the remembrance of it. It is the token of another sigh, another tick of time’s fickle clock, another life lived.

“We are children of the Sun King.

Hold onto my hand, this mysterious evening;

it’ll meet us  like a dream.”

{Josh Garrels, Fire By Night}

Peace descends as the sun slides lower onto the horizon, settling into the west like a small child being gently placed onto the pillow after a long day of play.

Every day the sun rises, works for us; it gives us sustenance, comfort, and hope. Every night it retires, with the full knowledge that it will have to rise again. And it always does!

What a beautiful miracle! What an example of your steadfast love! That you would rise, work, sacrifice, and dwindle into the promise of a coming dawn. How poignant. You will come again, as surely as the rising sun. Such a beautiful promise. Yet, such a far-off hope.

You have blessed me with another year of life. You have kept me from the lion’s den, shielded me from myself, from the inevitable pain that living in sin provokes. Thank you.

Thank you for calling me child, daughter, blessed. Words that evoke strength and meaning in a world that has left me feeling empty since birth. You are the longing which my soul so desperately craves. You.

You are in everything. The rocks cry out your name. The babbling brook, the sparrow, the small child, the old man; all cry out your name. How easily we forget your nearness. We cry out for you in our loneliness, not remembering that you are there in a hug, a moonrise, a letter, a tear.

Thank you for not allowing me to ever truly be alone, though I feel the pangs of loneliness often enough.

“Child, the time for you has come to go.

You will never be alone.

Every dream that you have been shown,

Will be like a living stone;

Building you into a home,

A shelter from the storm.”

{Josh Garrels, White Owl}

The sun is finally setting. A huge red-orange ball dips, slides, slips, glides into the serenity of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse and its boardwalk are blackened against the intensity of the ball of fire, making a spiderweb of art and structure: a pure form of beauty.

The glory lasts about two minutes, then it is gone. The light of day is gone. Almost instantly, the smells of dusk permeate the air: hints of freshly cut grass and the overwhelming fixture of lilac float between the houses as I walk back to the cottage.

Summer is coming.

The trees sway slightly as the last whispers of the day drift through their branches. Night is here. Rabbits, raccoons and stars—the pilgrims of the night—emerge. And we begin to retire into our nests and burrows for the evening.

Another day. Another breath. Another life.

My friends will be waiting to celebrate with me. Presents and cards and strawberry-rhubarb crisp. Here’s to another year!

Twenty-seven and counting.


2 thoughts on “Twenty-Seven”

  1. Have you read Psalm 104? I think about it when I read this post. Thanks for writing 🙂

    Here’s to year 27!

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