Thin As Onion Skin

Loser’s dilemma and apology: my copy/paste lost the source of this good piece, then I lost the original! But  I’ll break the rules and share this slightly-tightened version anyhow. He/she wrote:

This week I took a three-day writing retreat at the beach here in NC. The ocean is medicinal for me. It helps to quiet the noises in my head, the swirling worries, fears, obligations and bad news. I waited to head down until late in the day when most people had headed to their houses and hotel rooms. This usually allows me much of the beach to myself.

I stepped through the dunes with a backpack and canvas chair, fully expecting to see an expanse of open sand—and instead was greeted by a forty or fifty people stretched in a line from the dunes to the shoreline. I had stumbled upon a sea turtle hatching.

I found my place and knelt shoulder to shoulder with strangers, my head inches from the narrow trench volunteers had carved out. For nearly two hours there was no  movement. Suddenly, an infinitesimal shift in the sand, then another; dozens of tiny black shapes lit by the moon broke through and made their first awkward journey toward the ocean. Fifty strangers cheered until the last exhausted straggler reached the water. There were tears and hugs, high fives and applause.

I didn’t get much writing done; I didn’t get much alone time. This was better.

Religious people have often talked about thin places, moments when the wall between humanity and divinity is like onion-skin. This small patch of sand and water and moonlight was that transparent: a holy moment, sacred, a clearing in the cloudy.

Without a hymn, prayer, pew or minister, God was present and close. It was a “religious” experience. I hope you get surprised by beauty this week, have your plans changed enough to get what you need. I hope you see something that clears the cloudy.

Thanks, whoever wrote this.

Old Grandpa Lloyd