We traveled all day Saturday, and drove up from Portland on Sunday. We are home! However, I’m missing Cozumel like crazy. It’s great to be back with our kids and my parents. We’re getting back into our lives. Our mosquito bites are healing, our tans fading.
But one last Cozumel thought won’t let me be.
Thursday of last week, we rented a car and drove to the Caribbean Ocean side of the island. We had an idea about snorkeling over there. I wanted to sit on a beach and read. The Cozumel map we had seen over and over again called out several beaches for swimming. Great, we thought. Perfect.
We drove past Alberto’s (one of several) and ritzy resorts. We saw a sign for the ecological beach park, Punta Sur, We decided to check it out. Hey, it had a lighthouse, too. It seemed the only access to the white sandy beaches and teal-green surf we craved. We paid the $14 (!), lamenting Oregon and Washington’s free public beaches.
“No swimming today,” the gruff attendant told us. We looked at each other. Natch.
We drove past scruffy sea grass and bushes. The warm wind came steadily off the sea. The ocean looked more like the one I grew up with, white-crested waves rolling in to shore. We spotted a sign and a place to pull over. We walked down onto the beach and removed our shoes. The sand, beaten into submission by millions of waves, felt like pillows on our feet. We stepped into the crystal blue water. It wasn’t freezing, like home, but refreshing. It felt like a little slice of heaven.
Something caught my eye. I looked up. A golden eagle, Mexico’s national bird, soared above us. It floated on an updraft, weightless in the warm air. It hung there for several minutes.
I thought about how I miss the beauty in everyday life. This place, this moment, would fade into memory soon. Yet I could learn something from this bird. He – or she – hung high in the sky, playing on the wind. Sure, he probably had designs on lunch. But he enjoyed the day. He didn’t worry. He just…was. He swooped and dove and played. He lived in the moment.
As I type this, I can hear the birds singing outside. Rex and Chloe stroll by at regular intervals, checking on me. Roses bloom outside the window. My family sleeps on. I don’t want to miss the beauty right in front of me. It may not be an exotic locale, but it’s all mine.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths. – Psalm 24:1-2