Author: Sandy Ratliff

  • A Mother’s Day Prayer

    A Mother’s Day Prayer

    By Sandy Ratliff Dear Heavenly Father–There are many similarities between St. Mary and most mothers. She had high expectations for her child’s success, she worried about His ‘disobedience’ when He remained at the temple, she questioned when He would begin his real ministry, she was concerned about His circle of friends, and she suffered agony […]

  • Holding Fast

    Holding Fast

    A limb has nearly broken off the pine tree near the front of our house. Last year woodpeckers tapped it until there was a large hole, then the wind loosened the remaining branch, and now what is left hangs by a narrow strip of wood.  Fat doves sit on it, apparently enjoying the bouncing landing […]

  • My Hat Wears Out

    My Hat Wears Out

     Many years ago I bought a visor cap with my school’s initials on it from the college bookstore.  Since then it’s been my ‘beach hat’, the hat I grab when I walk on the beach or work in the sun.  Today I noticed the strap is ripping and can’t be sewn.  I have perhaps a […]

  • Treasure Hunt

    Treasure Hunt

    My husband collects floats that wash ashore.  When we discover one on the beach—especially if it’s in good condition—we congratulate one another and eagerly bring the Styrofoam ball home as if we’d stumbled over treasure.  It’s true we have no good use for them, though they presently encircle the sign naming our house, float from […]

  • Excuse Me…

    Excuse Me…

    Dolphins were sporting in the water this afternoon as I walked alone on the beach.  I saw a woman staring at the sand.  “Did you see the dolphins?”  I asked, excitedly.  “ Shhh,”  she replied, “ I’m praying and meditating.”  I left chastened, but then I began to question.  Does prayer exclude others or is […]

  • My Camellia Bush

    My Camellia Bush

    I have one blossom on a camellia bush given to me by a friend.  I’m very proud since for ages the small slip seemed barely to live, much less grow and flourish.  Any plant given by a friend has a special value, because it means part of that person is now alive in my care, […]

  • Too Far!

    Too Far!

     When my husband and I walk, we aim for specific spot, easily identified on the beach.  Sometimes we try to go past that spot, adding each day to the length of our walk.  Of course the problem, with adding a bit daily is that eventually the distance becomes a hindrance rather than an encouragement; the […]

  • New Room

    New Room

    I found a beautiful shell on the beach today, tiny intricate spirals that gradually and gracefully grew into concentric circles.  The creature within must have grown slowly, sealing off each successive chamber and moving on into larger circles.  How fortunate he was!  Able to abandon old failures and move into a fresh room with new […]

  • Common Bonds

    Common Bonds

    I pile perfect shells on the front deck against a planter.  I like their look, bleached white by the sun, turning powdery, symbols of the ocean from which they come.  Shells have a delicacy and beauty that sets off the cacti blooming in the terra cotta strawberry pot.  Each shell is different when I find […]

  • Finding the Sun

    Finding the Sun

    Our sun room faces south, with windows open to the east and west.  Each morning, as we read the newspaper, we draw shades on those windows whose glare makes reading difficult.  Slowly as the year progresses, the sun changes its angle; we, in turn, have to close different shades.  I think of the sun as […]