A friend asked me what I “do” when I walk on the beach each day. “Do you hunt for shells? Are you using that time to think deep thoughts or plan menus?” she wondered. I couldn’t honestly answer her, though I tried. Perhaps the most healing aspect of a beach walk is its lack of an agenda. There is nothing to do on the beach but place one foot before the other; nothing more is required. Sometimes I am intensely aware of the sun and the wind, but often they’re irrelevant. When I see an unusual shell or bird or dolphin, my attention is fastened upon it, but more typically I’m oblivious to the thousands of shells and birds that surround me. I take very little notice of the people I pass, hardly responding to them other than a nod or “Good morning”. Sometimes I have a problem in mind, but it may evaporate as I walk, perhaps reappearing later in the day. Or I may bring with me a happy event and walk with a slight smile tracing my lips. I am, during the time I walk, as fully open to God as if I were in prayer. I am responding to a thousand tiny cues too small to differentiate, but touches that heal, restore, and reactivate me. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the privilege and pleasure of a walk where I am free to feel your presence surround me. May I take with me the renewed strength this shared time provides. Amen.

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