We have been back home for a week. As you can see from the picture of the view from our rented Airbnb condo, we stayed in a beautiful place. The water there is part of the Intercoastal Waterway, so we spent hours watching boats of every size sailing down the waterway. From yachts so big that we just gaped at them to the smallest of crafts, I was joyful just watching them.
You can also see that there is a public walking path at the border of the property, and it gave us the incentive to walk three of the four days we were there. It was about four miles round-trip, but there was a section that really touched me, a memorial to children who had died. It was filled with the names of children, from babies to adults. There was a poem there that touched my soul, as I am one of the mothers who have lost a child too soon.
We visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. There were 219 steps to the top of the structure with a wonderful view. Douglas went up there, but I started having an anxiety attack after the second set of stairs, as the staircase felt quite claustophobic. It was dark and the stairs seemed to never stop. So, I only have the outside view for you. Still, we found a path around the structure and walked it, making the day so glorious.
While Douglas climbed the stairway to the sky, I visited the cottage that was the home of the lightkeepers and their families. I found it interesting that when a lightkeeper died, his wife took over his duties, to help provide for her children. They had to climb those 219 steps multiple times a day to keep the light on, before there became electric light. What spirits of determination and courage they had!
My favorite place was the Washington Oaks State Park, because there is nothing that beats a garden for seeking soul rest and affirmation of God’s great love for us flawed humans. We walked the trails there, which were about 6 miles round trip. But, it was so worth being tired. There were flowers blooming, especially roses, and some of the most beautiful foliage and places to sit and enjoy it that I have ever seen. It was like summer and spring, together, and my soul lifted up and I smiled big.
And, yes, this place was the location of the object of our pursuit: the wonderful Atlantic Ocean! Douglas came prepared to swim, with a boogie board, and all, but it was too rocky a place for that activity, so he walked for miles along the ocean, while I sat and read a book. I entertained a sea bird who thought he was going to get some food from me, but I am still on a diet, so every crumb was for momma. I never feed them, because the one time I did, we were overwhelmed within minutes by pigeons.
Your problems seem so small when you sit by the ocean! When you consider that the tides have been ebbing and flowing for centuries, you realize that we live a short time, compared to the oceans, but we are no less important to the Maker of Earth and Heaven. I truly needed this time to savor the beauty of creation and renovate my soul. I hope that we will see the end to the lockdowns and need for social distancing, now that so many are being vaccinated, because, as humans, we need to be free to be outside with each other.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to seek the sun and ocean. They were gifts from Heaven!