Each year our island has a fund raising event, a Chili Cook Off. People come from all over the United States to promote and sell their chili, with all profits going to the Island First Responders. We always support the event financially, but no longer attend in person. While others are pooling at the center of the island, eating and drinking, I walk on the beach, a beach still quiet and peaceful. I am not one who loves crowds; I prefer a beach with solitary combers, and yet I do deeply appreciate the funds raised to buy needed emergency equipment. It’s fun to dip my toes into a crowd and join its fringes, but I prefer smaller groups, just as I like to dip my feet in shallow water, rarely venturing out into the deeper ocean. I thank you, Lord, for allowing me the luxury of smiling faces and happy crowds, but especially thank you for the pleasure of quiet walks and peaceful beaches. I’m grateful the island has both types of people and the contributions each makes. Amen.