This evening my skin is tight and hot and dry from the sun and the salt water I immersed myself in this afternoon, and it feels so good. I spent my afternoon at the beach with some friends and my adventures included retrieving a log for myself and my four-year-old friends to float on, eating watermelon and junk food, having seaweed fights, and sitting silently in the sun. It was a perfect afternoon and like my one friend always says, the tight hot skin burnt by wind and sun actually feels good, it makes you feel alive.
Being really alive, truly lively, very present, has been something I’ve been working on for awhile now. As our world rushes by at a more and more frenetic pace, as the news reports about sun exposure and all the other things we are supposed to worry about use more and more scare tactics, as the apparently serious business of being an adult gets more intense, it is more and more important to let go of those pressures and instead be present to the fullness of life available in each and every moment we live.
Too often I worry that I am not doing enough or being enough in the world, when, as a friend reminded us in her sermon this morning, all I am really obliged to do is to be me, to be Shannon, in the beautiful and unique form that God has called into being for this place and time. What else can I do really? To be fully alive and fully Shannon is not always easy, but it is rewarding in ways beyond imagining.
And today, to be Shannon, was to frolic in the ocean, laze on the beach, and be joyously and abundantly alive.