The sun shines bright for everyone,
people who notice and people who imitate:
being a light for loved ones,
bringing a candle to a friend’s darkened room,
holding out a torch for strangers.
Walking barefoot on the sunlit beach,
we who notice prepare to join others in the project
of re-making co-creating loving
this spectacular spacious wounded home
for grace and doubt—our world—while swimming
in the surf between the flags and
among the participants of daily life who,
conscious of it or not, renew and restore
with all their being and effort, and
sometimes miss the mark.
While we swim near one another,
each one’s name sealed upon their heart,
we may do well to turn and say hello,
or not, and cover our eyes with goggles
and dive under the next breaker. This ordinary
ritual—ocean swimming—prepares us to swim
the more extraordinary channels of suffering
and helpless fear angst worry and illness
which one day will come our way.
Meanwhile, teams of lifesavers—sitting on the sand
and walking the beachside breakers—watch on,
ready to intervene if necessary,
poised to save a person struggling
in the water, hands bouncing above head
with distress and terror.
When this very situation unfolds,
coffee-drinkers at the seaside cafe notice
a commotion down on the water, and the
quick ripple-effect of human solidarity and
protection fills the sky with clouds of
concern. The man, in his 30s, is saved
from drowning, and splutters up water when reaching
the shore. CPR is not necessary, but they
will check on him in the hospital, just to be sure.
Our eyes play witness as ocean, land and air
overflow with compassion and leaves flutter in the breeze.
Several lifesavers are off to a barbecue,
murmuring to each other as the sun retreats,
expressing wonder at all that had happened in the light.