Sanibel Retreat 2019 – Day Four

Quiet Morning (2019)

The days begin in the same way every day, here and at home: corner of the sofa, feet up, two cups of Colombian (or Guatemalan) coffee, prayer and reflection from Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press). At Sanibel, all this happens before sunrise! Today, I didn’t go to the beach for sunrise. After three days, I am finally settling into the pace here. I have let go of the feeling that I should be exploring Sanibel, driving to Captiva, or trying new restaurants and beaches. I am quite content staying put and not even getting in my car.


Today, when I walked to the beach, I carried only my beach bag – no umbrella, no chair, no book in my bag.  It was freeing to know I could go for a swim without packing for the day. It made me think that I could try that approach when I go to Siesta Key at home. I don’t have to plan for shade, comfort, or entertainment. I can just swim, then return home to read in the shade!

Until now, I have pretty much done only water-walking and jumping jacks in the Gulf. When I’m not in familiar surroundings, I like to keep my glasses on and my ears unplugged. This morning, I plugged my ears, put on a bathing cap and swim goggles, and actually swam. The current was fairly strong for a gulf beach, so I would swim against the current for a hundred yards, then float back to my starting point. I remember the first time I experienced this full float on my back in warm salt water. I felt I was being rocked and caressed by the Universe. Maybe a metaphor for life? I can swim against the current with all my strength for just so long. When I let go and “float”, I can feel the warmth and support that will carry me along.


I stayed out of the heat (90-plus degrees) for most of the afternoon, hoping to go for another swim in late afternoon. However, by mid-afternoon there were rumblings of thunder. Not actual rain, but I decided against the beach. About 5 pm, I went for a walk in the local neighborhood, looking for access to the bay, west of where I usually go. It’s always amazing to me, and disappointing, that homeowners can block access to the ocean or bay with fences around their homes and signs that say “Private Property – No Trespassing.” I found a small house that looked abandoned (or possibly being remodeled), and cut across the grass to get to the bay. My understanding is that up to the high-tide mark, the shore is not privately owned. That would have been my story if anyone asked!

I ate dinner and enjoyed a quiet evening. I’m embarrassed to admit, the evening featured Hallmark movies. I was too sleepy to read, and I had finished my books. It’s hard to believe that I go home in the morning.



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