The day begins and ends in birdsong;
Blue ibis rising in unison from the
Glowing sea grass,
Flamingos with their long legs and pink backs
Dancing through shallow, glistening sea, and
Tiny yellow-bellied birds flitting across the morning sky
In search of water or food or each other.
They could simply be playing, I suppose
Dancing through the sky for each other
Forgetting for a moment their survival.
This place is full up with poetry:
The way the morning light glows against the grasses,
The sunshine yellow bird outside my window,
The mountains rising from the mist above of the lagoon,
And the marshy sea grass stretching out in front of me, changing shape and colour with the tides.
Whatever despair my heart may feel, whatever love
I can lose or find it here;
I can be quiet enough to find that still place where God lives
And for a moment, call it home.
I wrote this poem on a little slip of land that lies between the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean and the calm, dreamy waters of the Langebaan Lagoon. A place I can safely call heaven, right at the tip of the earth down here in Africa. My family and I have traveled to Churchhaven, an old fishing village on South Africa's West Coast, for the past three years, and every year my spirit feels as though it has been created anew on those quiet shores. I am reminded of the power of God and love in the rich colours of the sea grass, the sun rising and setting before us, and the thunder and lighting crashing down in the distance. What a gift to slow down for a few days with the people you love. To be freed from distractions, from ego or fear, from the worldly clamours of our every day lives, of ourselves. When I am there, I am reminded of my place on earth, the big beautiful reality of it all, the things that really matter, and the things that don't.
I have been thinking about these things a lot recently. There are changes in my life I know need making, but it is so easy to become weighed down by fear and self-doubt and for these to manifest in anxiety, irritability, and the incessant drive to always find something more pressing - something (seemingly) more important to attend to - than my own spirit, my own creativity, my own life. As I've said previously, my desire to walk alongside others on their own journeys to uncover, discover, and recover themselves is firmly rooted in my own process of healing over the past decade of my life. For almost 10 years now, I have made the discovery and recovery of my true self - the self God created and has always loved - my highest priority, and the gifts have been remarkable. It has certainly not always been easy, but it sure as hell has been worth it.
And so it continues. As I walk this road - sometimes filled with fear, sometimes with faith - there is nothing more powerful than walking it alongside others. There is no greater gift than, emerging from one of life's great heartaches or challenges scarred but stronger, turning around to a sister or brother to say when they are in pain, "Me too. I was there, and I got through. This is how I did it. I am here for you. The pain is real and hard now, but the light on the other side is radiant."
Hey, I'm here for you. It may be hard today, but don't hit the easy button on your pain by reaching out for a quick fix. Learn to regard your pain as a teacher and give yourself a chance to learn. I promise, sticking around for the lessons will change your life.
As always, I love you.