Most every time I get to the ocean, there are moments when I look to see beyond what is possible to see. Looking out past where there are markers ~ far out beyond to the horizon. And then some.
This picture was taken last month when some of the family had come together to celebrate Aunt Cynthia’s birthday. We had gathered outside of Santa Barbara and shared a big, old beach house. All through the weekend in the stories and the music and the laughter, I heard echoes of laughter and of stories told by the ones who were with us in spirit only. Mom and dad and their parents, aunt and great-aunts, uncles and great-uncles. So many were gathered with us that weekend on the beach.
There are places our hearts know about that are beyond the `here and now.’ These places call to us from time to time. Sometimes I’ve been known to call out to them as well. There is a longing for the “me” they knew and loved so well. An aching for one or two more conversations to help work through whatever is being heavily held.
When I stand on the beach and look toward the sunset, I know (“deep in my heart of hearts,” as Mom would say) that there is something beyond this lifetime. I know that there are loved ones who are still connected to me as I am to them. And I am both strengthened and comforted by their presence.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.