My legs are a-wobble. Every half a step forward, a good bit sideways I go. Trying my best to stand still, I list to one side and then the other. Closing my eyes, I teeter — no, not exactly teeter — I tip, lean, crest a wave and recover to ride the next and the next. I roll.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not impaired — neither drunk, nor woozy. I’m fully awake, fully aware, fully cognizant, all systems go. It’s just that my body’s balancing system thinks it’s still aboard the ship where I spent the last week. In spite of all my other senses saying, “See, you’re on pavement. Solid ground. Perfectly still. Nothing’s moving,” my body isn’t buying it. It’s tuned into its own channel, plugged into its own input source, trusting its own instincts.
Funny, I have queried others who were aboard the boat with me and none have experienced this sustained rocking. My husband was totally terrestrial the moment we came ashore. Other friends had perhaps a day or two of remnant “sea legs.” But I rock and roll a good long while. Only over multiple days of walking on terra firma, will my body return to its former stride; the old way, the boring but steadfast, the everyday way.
Just between you and me, I prefer the rhythm of the waves. There is just something in me that finds home there. I wonder if rhythm is my default sensation.
It served me well on our expedition from the ship over to Espanola Island where paths were pretty treacherous: big rocks and very unsure footing. At first, my sneakers kept slipping; the harder I tried to find just the right foothold, the more unsteady I became. But when I found my footing by hip-hopping, one-two-ing, left-righting from one rock to the next, I kept my balance. Cha-cha-cha. Was anyone else feeling the rhythm or grooving to the beat? Probably not. Yes, embarrassing. Don’t tell them.
But here I am, a full week ashore and still rocking my sea-legs. Am I just made differently?
Makes me wonder if my first language wasn’t words, but movement. Before we speak, we move. Why can’t that be our native tongue? Can’t you just picture the moment? The Creator thinks, hmm, this one’s gonna think in motion. And not random motion but guided motion and choreographed motion. She’s gonna respond in motion and understand in motion. When she sees someone move, she’ll move, too. When she’s stumped, she’ll untangle things on the move. It’ll stay with her. It’s the way I’ll speak to her.
Why wouldn’t the one who created the winds and the waves, the storms and the calm, the rhythm and the rocking, sow this into us as well?
I must say, the rocking is gentling so I’m not in a hurry for it to go. It has a language of its own. Seems to speak in a very old tongue from the ancient of days, from before days, perhaps even before time, when that language of love that holds and rocks and caresses and cares spoke creation itself.
Before there was light by which to see
and air through which to hear;
Before there was land on which to stand,
and an expanse of sky to draw our gaze upward;
Love was in motion.
Surely, it was.
And still is.
To see a thing which mars the landscape and NOT leap to faulting, "Who would DO such a thing?!" To see a thing which mars the landscape but NOT pick it up "to be a good citizen," so people can applaud and approve. Rather, to see a thing which mars the landscape and pick it up in order ... to reveal the beauty underneath. ...to right it to its former way ...to adjust it to its rightful place ...to deliver it to its intended recipient ...to mend it back to wholeness ...to blot what has been spilled and restore what has been lost. A small act of restoration... so the one who passes next will come upon it, unhindered, and may feel the moment without disruption. To the Glory of the one who made it.
You created and it was good. Very good. You said so yourself.
So how come right now it can feel bad? Very bad. You didn’t warn us about this. Have you changed your mind? Are you going back on your word? Were you just kidding?
I look of the hint of the sunrise, the glow of the clouds, overseeing two ducks urging themselves toward the shore and the cover of the steady reeds. The water is still, so still I can see the arrow of their wake. Good, so very good.
The darkened surface speaks to the heavens. See your clouds, your tints, and the proud shadows of overflying waterfowl? See your beauty in me? it seems to say. Even the jet trail of the early morning flight is reflected here.
I look up to see the straight white line of the jet trail dissecting the grey-blue of the sky, but where is it drawn on my pond palette? on my earthly representation of heavenly perfection?
Wait. I think I see it. It’s not a straight line at all, but an oscillating serpent in white, wiggling along the surface. I can see it clearly, reflected on the stilled water of the early morning, waiting patiently to come to life. The sheet of pond is not a perfect reflection after all. Unseen perturbations give themselves away.
How could I doubt your perfection? What you have created is good, very good.
Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. ~ 1 Cor 13:12