Always… Look, See, Pray

Every low tide is the same… sand, pools and channels, seaweed, shells, gulls… but every one is always different. Patterns made by the receding waves have amazing variety: it’s the unique combination of wind, wave strength, tide height, phase of the Moon and the force of gravity. Probably a few other variables too!

Life goes on round the cycle of the tides. We have rich sea life in our local waters; invertebrates and shellfish pack the sands. Birds thrive here.

On some mornings it is a place of wonder as the light turns sand to silver. A few fortunate people like me have time to walk, to wait, to watch. It is never a boring place to be- the slow dance of land and sea is enthralling. Every morning a new photograph can be born- the same scene, yet uniquely fingerprinted by the powers of Nature – and so always changing.

For me this represents something of the daily “routine” or repetition of events and relationships; life, interrupted by weather, and chance encounters (occasionally with a particularly friendly dog to share the excitement).

Under all the changing variables is the strong Hand of the One who crafted Creation with purpose and rhythm, with colours and delight. This not Chaos: this is ordered by the Artist.

Always the same, always changing, this beach has become a holy place offering solitude and chance companions, silence and glorious sounds. Taking the picture is a secondary action, recording the essence of Life; if you like, a child’s copy of the Artist’s magnificent creativity and faithfulness. But the main reason for being here is to allow myself to grow aware today of the Eternal Presence of God that cannot be “seen” but permeates the entire scene. In that Presence is hope, strength, comfort, and challenge.

May my days be the same, yet always unique; with the common elements being transmuted into gold, silver, and joyous Light. The Light that came into the World so we may not be condemned to darkness.

Here I can be a “doorkeeper” in the House of the Lord: I hope these words and picture will open a Holy Door for you as well. God IS among us.

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