Deep and dark morning storms had finally passed and Penelope, Cherise, and I headed out to The Pier for a watch the sunrise stroll. The packing rain made the sand much easier walking to the water line and smooth foothold. Light had just begun to tickle the east, peeking through ominous clouds, pocked with holes, slipping out to sea, out to harass the ore and cruise boats, the commercial fishermen, and the charters. The angry waves still pummeled the beach, calamitous rolls of frothing surf growlingly pounding, then ebbing away for rebuild and resurge. We adventurously waded out, quickly found the undertow far too strong, in full “no you won’t” mode for human interaction. I barely held balance in the first slosh against my thighs and the girls called retreat. They seemed to sense my need for think, perhaps from the long stare at the horizon or the bit of shuffle in my step. They moved ahead as I faced the waters, the pulse of God’s power churned at my feet and ankles, the leaden sky accepting the rising light.
A song strummed with the melee, a soft, back of the brain melancholy as I thought about the funeral being held later this day back home. Jimmy Buffett penned the lyrics, the song played at my wedding on the “Flying Cloud” in sail on the Caribbean. A Pirate Looks at Forty still touches and pokes with imaginings, especially in the gloomier times.
Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters
Since I was three feet tall
You’ve seen it all, you’ve seen it all
Watch the men who rode you
Switch from sail to steam
And in your belly you hold the treasure
That few have ever seen, most of them dreams
Most of them dreams
And out there, on that place of dreams, I see Pete in the holes of the grey, his jerky gait headed up to light the candles or snuff them out, to give his nod for a row to proceed for communion, to walk the aisles with a prayer card held high in invitation. His laugh echoes in the little flicks of remaining lightning. I never heard his thunder, just his happy and his pride in the veterans and their duty to fallen comrades. The flags. His faith.
Orange blossomed into the gaps, a fiery, burnt sienna yellow mesh of radiance that defied any depth of cloud. The sun pushed into the hole, enlarged it to allow the magnitude of sunrise on the Atlantic coast. Like the Saturn rockets of the 60’s it pushed upward, radiating and calming, yes calming the cacophony of waves into an “all is well” hushing slush.
…and still could manage a smile
It just takes a while, it just takes a while
Mother, mother ocean, after all these years I’ve found
My occupational hazard being my occupations just not around
I feel like I’ve drowned
Gonna head uptown
Last Sunday I said “farewell, journey well my friend” at Pete’s typically Lutheran seat in ‘his’ pew. We had him, God has him. And the ocean rolls and the tides come and go – God brings peace.
~ submitted by Dave Smith