Mornin' y'all!

I ran out this morning to walk the beach before the rain arrives, before the writing begins in earnest, before the things that need to get done, well, get done.

I walked enjoying a silver sun adding a cool sheen to the surface of the water.

As I walked I realized again how very fortunate I am that I took the chance to change my way of life, how lucky I am to work at something that allows me such "down" time... yet even as I walked, I noticed my thoughts slipping to planning, both what will happen today and what will happen in the future (events in new York, here in NC, France, Tahiiti...)

Pleasant thoughts, assuredly!

But thoughts that had lured me away from my beach this morning, my secret hideout, my quiet place.

I gazed out on the water, anticipating (as is my wont) a message of some kind, and noticed the pelicans there.

Now, I watch pelicans very intently - have for years! - as they seem somehow to speak to my soul, reminding me at times of the importance of keeping my focus, or flying low, or flying in concert with others, or...

SITTING?

The pelicans - hundreds of 'em! - WERE JUST SITTING THERE.

Wha-a-a-a...?

Yep. Just sitting there.

Not feeding (I checked), not flying, not dancing, not worrying, not angry, not anything... just sitting there, floating on the water: up and down. Sitting. How very Buddhist of them!

Well, you don't have to hit me on the head to get a point across, and right next to where I was walking the sand had been built up forming a perfect ledge, oh, about the height of my... yep, you got it! I sat down.

It felt GOOD just to sit there for a bit. The long list of things to do dissolved. I made like a pelican and sat.

Sitting, I saw the sunlight skip across the waves before disappearing in foam. I felt the coldness of the water as an odd wave made it all the way to my feet (i took off my shoes to sit) before hurrying back to the sea.

I sat.

When in the hurry of the season and the writing and the new agent (yay, Linda!) and the contracts and the arrrrrrrgh do i just sit? And yet I knew as I sat there that THIS, and not anything else on my list or in my day, was what was important. THIS feeds the soul...and Life. THIS was the shepherds just gazing at a baby. This was a star shining over a stable. This was the eight candles, or the long pilgrimage to mecca: pelicans sitting.

So we sat there, the pelicans and I: they, on the waves beyond the breakers, and I, where the land had broken a ledge. Sat there together and separate. Just sat.

And as I sat, I noticed something else, very subtle: dolphins!

They were swimming slowly among and around the waves, between me and the pelicans, almost imperceptibly breaching the ocean surface.

Dolphins and pelicans!

To share a (not so big) secret, I love dolphins so much I have one tattooed right where the ledge of sand was holding me. And they have been so present every day of my visit so far, it has been a real blessing. But this felt somehow different.

I WOULDN'T HAVE SEEN THEM IF I HADN'T SLOWED DOWN.

As I said, you don't have to hit me over the head to get a point across. But the dolphins and pelicans double-teamed me this morning, just in case I missed the point. Rushing, and trying to control the future by planning it leaves NO ROOM for the grace of the here-and-now. The dolphins and pelicans. The gifts that we are given from a Loving hand ... if only we notice them.

So for this day, and for this holiday season, I wish for you spaciousness and surprises, wilderness and wonder. And the grace of knowing that the Universe is trying to tell you something too. Mostly that you are loved. Very much.

Yep. For today and for this holiday season, I wish for you, too,...

Pelicans and dolphins from Emerald Isle...