Topsail Island, North Carolina is famous for its amazing sunrises. There is something majestic about the sun rising over the ocean. Like a pampered queen, she takes her time appearing before her adoring audience. She never wears the same gown twice, so those in attendance are never bored.
I marvel at how anyone cannot be stunned into silence by such a show; but then I remember how much beauty I miss each and every day as I scurry about in a mad dash to get somewhere or do something. The journey is so much better when I slow down and take in all the wonders in my path.
The full moon put on a beautiful show this morning. I’ve always been fascinated by its reflected light, especially in the morning. Most prefer to watch the moon at night, but I’m a morning moon person. I live on top of a mountain, so the sun rises in front of the house and sets in the back. My bedroom faces the west, so I get spectacular sunsets most days. I love to sit and watch the sun go through her nightly ritual and don’t like it when she closes the clouds in front of her. Sunsets are fast, and I miss many because I’m not paying attention. The moon takes its time, and I love that about moon sets in the morning.
When the moon is full, its light wakes me early. It’s like the little girls when they come running down the hallway for breakfast. They have been gone for a week, and I’m missing our sweet morning ritual. I’ve had a different routine this week; I’ve enjoyed having coffee and watching the full moon fade into the horizon. I love the views from my bedroom; a dear friend calls it my window to the world. I so needed this time on the mountaintop, and I wouldn’t give anything for the two years I’ve spent with my son and his family. I will have a very different view from my new home in town, but I’m looking forward to watching the town awake.
I love people, and I love Bryson City. God brought me to these mountains in 1970 to attend college, and I never went home. I’m sure my grandfather would say I came home. My father argued with me when I decided to live in the mountains. He said, “I worked my ass off to get out of those mountains, and you moved right back up there. What does that say??”
I smiled and said, “That one of us has some sense.” He had to grin because he did love the mountains of his childhood. He was worried about making money and getting away from what he saw as backwardness. Mama embraced the mountain ways and knew what every plant in the woods could cure. She missed the closeness of the mountains and longed for them her whole life. Like her, I can’t wait to get back to mountains when I am exposed in the flatlands for a while. They surround me like a warm hug and make me feel protected.
I believe we all have a place that speaks to our hearts. The mountains speak to mine in a powerful way, and that has never been more true that during the past week as I’ve had time to stop and sit and stare. God shows up in those quiet moments, and I know I am exactly where I am meant to be. Daddy understood. The city called out to him in the same way, and he never regretted listening to its call.
The moon takes a long time to let go in the mornings, and it becomes more beautiful as it pales. It is sitting in the distance reminding me that it will be back in the morning. I’ll be waiting with the wide-eyed wonder of a child and a cup of great coffee.
As I watched Mylah fall asleep in my arms after a full morning of play, I thanked God for the sweet perspective she and Lillyann give me. Since coming home from Topsail Island, I’ve had a new sense of direction. I knew I needed a sunrise when I went to visit my sister, but I didn’t know why until this week. What I needed was a new beginning, and the amazing sunrises on Topsail Island were God’s way of telling me it was time to head home. I was sinking in a sea of guilt, and my heart needed to stop floundering on the shore and head to higher ground.
Each morning I was on the island, God arranged a spectacular sunrise. I needed to stop, rest, and be filled before beginning the next leg of this journey. Bad choices left my heart filled with hurt and guilt. Neither are part of the love God has in mind for His children, and that lesson was crystal clear each morning as I started my day in His presence. I’ve drifted from His presence often on this journey, and I’m sure I will again before arriving home; but I was as close to Him as I’ve ever been while on Topsail Island.
Life is about loving and connecting to others. I’ve made too many unhealthy connections, but I pray I’ll listen as God shows me a new way of connecting in regard to relationships. I see now that I am His daughter, and that makes me see me and His love for me in a whole new light. Tuesday evening as I met with a small group of women interested in drawing nearer to Christ and to one another, I knew I was right where God wanted me to be. The women ranged in age from nineteen to ninety-one, yet we all were in sweet accord. I’ve never felt anything like it before, but I have the feeling it’s only the beginning of what God has in store for my heart.
I was tossed upon the shore in a way that left me out of breath and gasping for air, but I’m breathing and connecting deeply for the first time in a very long time.