Nurturing the summer soul: Spiritual journey


Last day at the beach
I wake far too early
but I make the coffee anyway
and take a cup to the top deck

I sit in the chair
facing east
drinking in
the deepness
of solitude
the blessedness
of silence

Earth stirs a little
and sighs
like a baby in its sleep

Just ahead, high over the sea
Venus glitters and winks

I am the bright and morning star
I know you are

My waiting soul
cannot think
of anything else it wants
or needs
as black silhouettes
of pelicans
fly soundlessly by
against the sky
pinkening with light

signifying the end
of night

My view this morning: Venus over the Atlantic just before sunrise

Pelicans, while not in this particular shot, are plentiful here. As the sky grew lighter they appeared in silhouette, gliding gracefully against it. The pelican is an ancient symbol for Christ, often depicted in Christian art.

Revelation 22, the last chapter of the Bible, references the River and Tree of Life, the healing of the nations, the end of night, and the return of Christ with the words “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last…I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star(13; 16).

The best I can do is to describe this morning scene. The sense of peace, so often fleeting or not to be found when Earth is wide awake and churning, was honestly too deep for words. I shall hold these moments in my mind for returning to when my soul needs more nurturing, long past summer.

—with thanks to Carol Varsalona for the theme and for hosting the Spiritual Journey writers on this first Thursday in August.

14 thoughts on “Nurturing the summer soul: Spiritual journey

  1. Fran, there is something about the early morning when the world is just beginning to stir that brings a sense of peace and a feeling contentment. Like you, I relish the quiet of the morning as a way of recharging my soul for whatever the day may bring.

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  2. Thank you, Fran, for this beautiful post. I did not know about the pelican being a symbol for Christ. Now I will have to find and read… But the peace of early morning is so tangible in your words, and the beauty of the photo with Venus winking, the sky pinkening… lovely! Thank you again, and many blessings…

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  3. Fran, your post reflects the lyricist you are. You see life in a kaleidoscope of colors framing the earth. If we have real time to chat about “the drinking in/the deepness/of solitude/the blessedness/of silence”, I would digitize the sky as a sign of God’s gift of peace. For now, I hold your thoughts in my heart; they nurture my summer soul. It is the waters of Long Island that I miss but provided the time to be at peace at the beach. Thank you for your words and spiritual commentary. I always love how you dig into a prompt and paint the picture in your mind.

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    • Thank you again, Carol, for the inspirational prompt – very often we just need to slow down and let the peace envelop us. It is there. How lovely a thought, the sky as God’s gift of peace. It certainly stirs awe, reminding us that we are but a small part of something so much larger than ourselves. This is something we need so desperately.

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  4. Fran, this is titled so perfectly. I’m there with you on the deck, smelling the coffee and salty breezes of stillness in the morning, the dawn of awakening from peaceful slumber before stirring about. Vacations are medicine for the mind and soul. I’m so glad you had some good beach time to take a pause before school starts back!

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    • It was the loveliest vacation – it took me a long time to decompress after school was out and I am not altogether sure I am ready to return. It is the inevitable – but I shall carry my cloak of peace about me!


    • I am glad if the poem helped you find some peace, Margaret. I know you are returning to work with your grief still fresh and deep concerns on your heart – my prayers are with you. Thank you for your words.

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  5. Fran, this is such a peaceful post. It’s like the peace of that time at the beach came all the way through your fingers across the internet to my screen. I used to talk to Venus too, on the way to school in the mornings. Such a great listener, Venus is. I’ll be thinking of you and the start of this school year for those leaders of the next generation.


  6. I know this scene in my core, as I have lived it on a different coast during our many trips to the Gulf. I feel this deep peace staring at the ocean from a balcony, and it’s been far too many years since I’ve been blessed with that view. Thank you for sharing these quiet moments with us!


  7. Fran, I’m so glad you had this nurturing vacation, and that you took time to rest in this peaceful moment. This is so beautiful! My husband and I are sitting here this morning, watching the sun rise in front of us and reading your poem together. We just sighed in gratitude and nurturing. Thank you for this vicarious moment with you.


  8. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your morning and the peace you felt. We need to make time for sitting with beauty. Love your poem, especially these lines:
    “Earth stirs a little
    and sighs
    like a baby in its sleep”
    Peace, my friend.


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