Sanibel Retreat 2019 — Day Two

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Waiting for the Sunrise (2019)

Up early. After prayer time and two cups of Colombian coffee, I headed to the beach with my camera, with telephoto lens attached, for the 7am sunrise. To my delight, the water was dark blue – not brown. It became bluer as the sky got bluer. Later in the day, the shallow parts were brownish, with clumps of brown seaweed attached to the sandy bottom.

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Sunrise Over Sanibel (2019)

The western sky was pinkish at the horizon. The eastern sky had a thick cloud at the horizon, which the rising sun eventually broke through. Not many people on the beach: a couple fishermen in a small boat, a few joggers but more walkers, and a few doing the “Sanibel stoop”, that is, searching for seashells.

When I returned to the Sand Dollar, I made breakfast and ate it on the deck near the garden pool. As I consumed my breakfast, a couple pesky mosquitoes consumed me! By about 10am, I was ready for a swim at the beach. Instead of packing the wagon with umbrella, chair, blanket, towel, etc., I carried just a chair and a beach bag. As I expected, it was very hot in the sun without any shade.

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The water was warm and rippling. I was the only one in the water. I could see a few beach umbrellas farther down, close to the lighthouse. It may have been my imagination, but I could feel small “nips” around my legs. I didn’t see any fish, but I was uncomfortable just the same. I read for a while, covered with towels so that I wouldn’t burn.

I am reading Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung (Freehand Books, 2018) – not exactly beach reading. From the book cover: “In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hopes of a safer life. They moved to Homs, Syria. Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was just ten years old when the civil war broke out on the streets around him. Homes is his remarkable true story of growing up in a war zone and ultimately finding safety in Canada.” The story is “heartbreaking, hopeful, and eye-opening.” I loved this Muslim family and the insights into the practice of Islam. I am recommending this book to our church book club.

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When I returned from the beach, I soaked in the garden pool for a while, read in the shade, ate lunch (indoors, this time), and took a nap. There was some rain in late afternoon, but no thunderstorms. In the early evening, I set out again with my camera, with the normal lens attached. This time I went to the bay side of the island for the sunset. There were pretty cloud formations, but it was still too early for sunset. I walked for about an hour, working up a sweat and an appetite. Despite my resolution to avoid Pinocchio’s, I stopped for ice cream . . . to go. I settled on mocha java. Truth be told, it was not worth the calories!

In between walking and reading, I am continuing with my Spanish lessons on Duolinguo, a free online interactive program, available in several languages. Me gusta mucho este programa. Yo puedo escuchar y escribir muchas palabras ahora.

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A question about my time here: Am I spending this week in activities that nourish me? When I think about my time at home, I spend way too much time in front of the television, and way too little time walking or swimming. This week, and it’s only the second full day, I am spending time in prayer and meditation, sauntering with my camera, water-walking in the Gulf and the pool, taking time to prepare healthy meals, and reading.

A second question: What is stopping me from engaging in these activities at home?

 


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