The Bering Sea is literally a stone’s throw from the apartment we’re renting. When we moved in the end of March the sea was frozen solid. Yes, salt water will freeze. At 28.4˚ F.
But now that it’s mid-May the ice is breaking up in massive chunks. Late evenings find kids in tennis shoes and sweatshirts jumping from ice floe to ice floe, riding the flat bergs as they move up and down. Last night the Nome Police stopped to talk to our teens and warn them of the dangers of crushing ice and ask them to stay off the ocean.
A few days ago the water was mostly flat, but as some ice is washed ashore (some pieces the size of a small car) and other pieces float out to sea, the tides are more visible and the waves are beginning to once again crash on the shore. In fact, I can hear the waves as I sit in my living room.
This morning I stood mesmerized at the window watching a huge piece of ice, perfectly flat as the waves tumbled it about. First once side would rise into the air, then it would smack down as the wave washed over it. Up and down, ice chunk riding waves like a riderless surf board.
I’ve felt like that chunk of ice for the last several weeks. Floating along, minding my own business, but getting hammered by waves. Feeling the icy cold water wash over my head when I wasn’t prepared. I’m not sure if I’ll float out to sea or if I’ll be washed ashore. Some kid might even stand on me. A sudden change in wind could alter my direction.
But I’m not that sheet of foot-thick sea ice tossed around in an ocean of salt water. I’m me. I’m going to sit on the rocks or walk on the beach. I will listen to the waves, but they won’t pummel me. I will watch them, but they won’t drive me out to sea.
|Daniel and the four youngest jump ice floes several evenings ago.|
Instead I choose the room of grace. I’ll turn my back to the sea and its storminess. To its uncertainty. To its exhausting crashes. Today I desperately need the room of grace. I need its quiet. Its deep care for my soul. Its acceptance of my questions.
|The view from my deck just moments ago. Waves crashing. Ice moving.|
The room of grace just invites me to just be. Not do. Not perform. Not decide. Just be. It’s my safe place. And He is there.