Butterfly Paradise, he called it, my little Doodlebug, as we were walking along, hand in hand. The sweep of plants between the beach and the building, the white flowers, who knows what they are, covered with butterflies and moths, mainly a lovely orange spotted butterfly, but joined by a few monarchs, painted ladies and others I can’t name. They flitted from flower to flower, dipping their proboscis into the nectar, drinking in the sweetness. I see them every fall we are at the Gulf. One year it was almost all monarchs. In the fall, before they take the long trip to their wintering grounds in Mexico, they stop off here to build their strength and get ready for the long adventure ahead.
It was a week to collect my strength and get ready for the adventure to come. I am starting back to work, as much as two 12-hour shifts a week if I can summon the energy and the hours at work. During this latest financial umm… episode, it has become apparent that for now, at least, I’m going to be out in the workforce a bit more. So, I’ve taught my husband how to teach long division, American geography, literary analysis, spelling and all the other things I do all day. I am not looking forward to trying to cram in all that every week, but I have a peace about it all. I have no idea how this will work. I can barely get done what I need to get done as it is, but I know the Lord will provide what we need financially and time-wise.
So this was a very relaxing week for me. I spent time doing very little or doing little things. Getting up to watch the sun rise and the herons feed; looking at the shadows of jellyfish on the sand through glass-green water; watching dolphins fish and play in the water and my kids and nephews bury each other in the sand on the shore, and wondering how God can make each sunset so stunning and so different. Of course there was still laundry, cooking, putting away dishes, etc, but it was all to the tune of the waves and the gulls, and time slowed without pressing demands of home and no internet contact.
I usually use Ann Voskamp’s Monthly Joy Dare for my gratitude list each day, but this week, I had so many things to be grateful for, I went for it without her list! Here’s my list for the week:
- quiet sunrises
- balcony breakfasts
- group walks on the beach (there were 14 of us total– 6 adults and 8 kids)
- walks by myself:)
- kids digging holes
- running through water for no good reason
- butterflies renewing
- toes in the sand
- Uno tournaments
- cousins giggling
- boiled shrimp
- shadows on the sand
- seeing my first sea turtle ever!
- kids and husband playing on a yolo board
- watching the sun slip down past the horizon
- sheer wonder on kids’ faces, and the cheer they gave as the sun disappeared
- hundreds of fish jumping in the water, pursued by bigger fish and bigger fish–I felt like I should break into “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King…
- heron quietly feeding before the busy beach day
- timelines of waves past on the shore
- play of light and shadow and sand and waves overlapping
- coming home to changing leaves and blustery days