July 3, 2019: On the lake-still ocean a woman slipped her paddle board into the orange pink shimmer of sunrise. There she waited with the rest of us for the sun to crown. Contrails of three planes rose above the sun at perfect 45 degree angles, like a child’s stitches on scrap of blue.
July 4, 2019: The buzz and hum of expectation hushed instantly as the fireworks ignited. The beach chairs faced south into explosions of color, high and low, as streaks and spheres and sizzles painted the sky. In the sky, I saw my mother’s brooch, my Aunt Honey’s ring, sparkling beach grass, and traces of fireworks stamped white against black. Beautiful ghosts.
July 5, 2019: Today is my last full day at Bethany Beach. I rose early again and headed to the boardwalk, where I grabbed my usual cup of coffee and said goodbye to the usual cluster of old men. Although it was only 6 am, the sun was up and my writing pen eager. But my best delight was an afternoon nap — in my darkened room during another perfect beach day.
July 6, 2019: Stuck in traffic here; stuck in traffic there. We nosed our way with thousands of others from Bethany Beach. Stopped again, I looked up. A U.S. Army biplane looped above us, cheering us on. It cheered me, at least.
July 7, 2019: Kevin and I visited Clarendon Presbyterian Church to enjoy the message and songs of our friend Jesse, who filled the pulpit that day. I was prepared to be delighted by Jesse’s work, but the sanctuary itself caught me by surprise: the rows of pews had yielded to sets of chairs and a dozen card tables, draped in colorful cloth and stretching to the Communion table, which nestled among them. The arrangement was as warm and welcoming as the hugs offered during the exchange of peace.
July 8, 2019: Birdsong, breezes and garden scents provided a healing contrast to the night-black skies and storms that swept through the area this morning. It was a head-achy day when I wouldn’t have found Delight if it tapped me on my shoulder. Yet there I was, in evening splendor, because I was the only one around to walk the dog. I sighed and stomped my way out of the house and returned renewed. Thank you, Majka!
July 9, 2019: A disappointment dropped on my shoulder last week like seagull droppings. I just couldn’t seem to wipe it away, so I pulled out my prayer journal. (Last entry: February 23. Hmmm.) In the very front, I found a prayer I’d copied there long ago. Called the Examen, it’s central to Ignatian Spirituality and invites us to reflect on our day in a spirit of thanksgiving, intentionality and humility. I didn’t write anything on July 9. But I revived my prayer life. Some of my delights — the slower simmering kind — apparently don’t require gardens.