A week ago four women and a baby arrived in Orlando for a long weekend of not-much. They were more about relaxing than running about trying to do everything that you can do in this part of the world. They decided that Saturday was beach day and, since I could, I went along. It had been quite a while since I’d been over to the beach (which I’m sure confuses some of you who would love to be 45 miles from the beach instead of land-locked).
The sun was warm and breeze was cool. It was perfect beach weather for my tastes. I sat and starred at the ocean and sky. I read a little. I walked. I starred at sea gulls who were having some sort of convocation. And all the while I could feel the transformation. I’d forgotten how therapeutic that space is for me.
On Sunday morning I flew to San Antonio for an all-day Monday meeting. After settling in to my room and checking the time we were scheduled to gather for a tour of the facility and then supper, I pulled on my sweatshirt and headed out to the path which had been pointed out to me by the lovely couple who did my airport run. They said it was a mile long. I got to the start of it to find that it was a stone-embedded sidewalk. The whole mile twisted and turned through the property. It was silent unless the breeze rustled a tree or bush. The sun was warm and the sky was brilliant blue. And rocks — you should see the rocks in that place in Texas which is on the southern edge of Texas hill country and the northern edge of a great plain. Beneath a thin blanket of clay soil is stone.
I spent a lovely hour or so meandering. I followed a few deer trails off the sidewalk into open meadow spaces. I sat on big rocks and watched. I found a fist-sized rock that well-represented one of the types of rocks I saw over and over again and picked it up to bring home with me. Filled with craters and holes, this rock has been worn by rains over its years of exposure.
As I was headed back to my room on the main road — having completed the trail — I was talking with God about how cool it is that He seems to surprise me with trips to places where some of my favorite of His creation is in abundance because He knows how much I love it. I wandered off the road a bit and leaned over to look at an abundance of the lighter cream colored stones I’d also seen in abundance — thinking maybe I’d take one of those too. And there it was, a fist-sized stone with an impression of a fossil in it that was in the shape of a heart. It does not take an imagination to see it — it is quite clearly a heart.