This post was written last week with the intention of posting within a few days. Then Russia invaded Ukraine and it just felt wrong to plough ahead like everything was okay. This world is not okay and as the years go by, I find myself more and more disenchanted with this side of eternity. May you find some reprieve, some comfort in the words below as we look forward to the glory of a coming day when the true King will reign with a righteous scepter for ever and ever.
The roar has been calling to me all day.
“Get your shoes on kids,” I call.
“Why, mommy? Where are we going?” comes the inevitable response.
“You’ll see.” I smile.
I wear the baby in her carrier and the older three pile on the back of the quad. I know we look hilarious. We go through town, the quad bouncing like a marble across sandy ditches we call roads, the kids singing parts in English at the top of their lungs, me-thumb on accelerator and grabbing desperately with my other hand at the end of my dress which flaps around with a rebellious life of its own.
We drive on, kids shouting ´maestra!´at me, calling out “hooo MATÍAS!” Adults lift their chins at me in the customary roadside greeting of the village. I grin and lift mine back. Finally pavement, a couple more blocks, then to the left. Past the nurse’s house and straight on to the ever increasing roar.
We hit that sweet spot on the road where suddenly the horizon line breaks into a hundred waves, white caps as far as your eye can see.
“The beach!!!!” The kids yell from the back. The baby is squinting her eyes against the wind. Salt fills our nostrils, our hair, our throats.
“I’m here,” I whisper to the roaring.
We park the quad, the kids eject. We’ve arrived at the perfect time. The tide is sliding in and out in 4 meter planes. It has left behind an enormous tide line, a treasure trove of the sea’s secrets.
We skitter like sandpipers, prowling the line like disciples of Rachel Carson.
Driftwood, shells and clams. Crabs and fish bones. Baby shoes. Shiny black petroleum chunks.
Dear Mexican government. Maybe a gentle suggestion. Maybe we drill a little more carefully. Maybe we clean up our messes. Maybe we take care of the open well we can see burning night after night in the open sea. The world kinda needs all the petroleum it can get these days.
One of the sisters here told me the tide line was where they went shopping as a girl. Both her parents are absolute drunkards, some of the poorest around. After a storm they would haul their girls to the beach to scour the tide line for whatever they needed. That’s where her dolls came from. Pots and pans. Where, she always wondered, where did all those things come from for us?
The beach here is a straight line, parallel with the horizon, stretching as far as the eye can see until the waves and sand and coconut trees dissolve in a flurry of mist. To the east, to the west. No bays. No mountains. No coves. Ocean to the north, coconut tree lined beach to the south.
It was a good fishing day. Up the beach I see lots of activity, trucks coming in to buy fish which they take in to the city markets. Some had already been paid. I know because several drove by drinking. I wish my kids didn’t have to see this, didn’t have to be so familiar with the darker side of the beauty of the ocean.
I gently keep them looking away, toward the ocean, toward the sunset, toward the undulating beach, buckling under the force of all those gallons.
We stand together, the five of us, hands overflowing with innumerable sandy treasures. Tide sliding, waves breaking. The wet sand a glimmering mirror of the sky above. A sinking sun, a radiant orange heaven, coconut trees silhouetted black against the brilliance.
An old black truck lumbers by blaring loud music.
Careless spell breaker.
I sigh. “Let’s go, kids.”
But the sand still clings to our feet. The salt to our hair. The worship to our hearts.
O worship the King all glorious above
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end.
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend!
Your ransomed creation, with glory ablaze,
In true adoration shall sing to your praise.