Return to Sanibel Island

Seahorse (2016)

I was blessed again this year with the time and financial resources to return to the Seahorse Cottages on Sanibel Island for a weekend retreat. It was a time to break away from work routines, bask in the sunshine, rock gently in the Gulf waters, and lose myself in good books. I brought along a new journal, whose cover says,

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. – Emerson

Add read good books, and that’s exactly what I did.

When I looked for the source of the Emerson quote, I discovered that the line is from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “Merlin’s Song.” However, the journal cover leaves off the last word of the line. It is

Drink the wild air’s salubrity.

Salubrity – what a glorious word to mean good health! Salt air that promotes good health. I could feel the salubrious effects of both the salt air and the salt water. Like many of the Florida beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, the water is warm and shallow, especially at low tide. The gentle rocking waves are perfect for floating and washing away all worries and doubts.

An aside: Emerson’s poem of wise advice ends with the lines:

Of all wit’s uses, the main one

Is to live well with who has none.

A reflection for another day!

Dawn on Sanibel Island (2016)

This time away was an opportunity for a real artist date – something I have not enjoyed in a long time. Each year, I commit to a monthly artist date, usually a walking meditation with my camera, sometimes a visit to an art gallery. On Saturday morning, I walked to the beach with camera in hand just before sunrise. The light is so perfect at this hour. I continued walking: the length of the beach to the lighthouse and a return walk through the woods and along the tree-lined road. I include a few images here and look forward to sharing others with you in future reflections.

Garden Pool (2016)

When I wasn’t enjoying the sunrise – or later the sunset over San Carlos Bay – I was reading quietly in the shade by the pool at my doorstep. The pool is set in a lovely garden area. It is only slightly larger than a hot tub, with water that is close to spa temperature. Fortunately, I had the pool area all to myself during my entire stay.

I had brought with me altogether too many books for a weekend! I finished reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, a book I highly recommend. I will talk more about this book in a future post. I started to read the work of Ilia Delio. I own two or her books, but find them difficult to follow. So, I purchased a set of DVDs of her lectures. After listening to the first two DVDs – which I do understand because Sr. Delio is a good teacher – I started in on Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness (Orbis, 2015). It’s too early to comment on what I am learning. However, there is a great connection with my desire to follow up on ecological spirituality that I talked about in a previous post. Neither Hannah’s book nor Delio’s work is exactly “beach” reading, but they were perfect for giving me a jumpstart on my summer reading and summer time by the pool.

Sunrise over Sanibel Island (2016)

I leave you with a song that I may have included in an earlier post (senior moments, you know) because the rhythm reminds me of the gentle rocking of the Gulf water that surrounded me this week. Be sure to look for a YouTube performance of this song.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United, Zion (2013)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

(additional verses)


2 thoughts on “Return to Sanibel Island

  1. Oh, Doris, this is beautiful. I am so happy for you that God allowed you this very blessed quiet time surrounded by nature’s gifts and Holy Presence. JOM

    Liked by 1 person

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