Sunday, June 20, 2010

And So I Fed The Seagulls

I have never fed the seagulls before, always avoiding these birds sweeping too close, choosing instead to enjoy them from the distance, but yesterday? I fed the seagulls cheetos.

As I tossed the cheetoes I noticed a large bird higher above. Soaring thru the sky above, with such grace, a hawk made his way East.

The horizon is dotted with white specs. Fishermen eager and thankful for another day on the Gulf waters.

I pushed my toes thru the sand and eye the shells scattered along the water’s edge. A few months ago, at home, I wondered what to do with the shells I had collected from this beach. I had decided not to gather any more – they were part of the beauty of the beach, but at home? What to do with the. Now I know – treasure them!

I waded into the gulf waters. Clear. Green.

I thought of all you cannot see below as I bounced in the waves, as I felt the pull of the sea as another wave approached.

I felt sadness. I have only been coming to this spot for about 9 years. My husband’s family, more than 30 years. In those years, in all the enjoyment and thankfulness for those moments, there is still a natural form of apathy. A form of “taking it for granted.” That this will always be available.

But in all man’s wisdom, in the knowledge and capability of being able to tap into a resource so great, and apparently in such abundance, the wisdom to repair the damage is not being found.

And so devastation approaches. Preparations are made.

A pelican glides across the top of the water. Speed takes him to the West. I want to tell him “no, don’t go West, go the other way."
I recognize a co-worker of my husband's. We have met once before a few years ago. I stop him anyway on his walk. He is not fishing this weekend. He and his wife have brought a grandchild to play on the beach since beach times seems to be set on borrowed time. He shakes his head slightly. He believes, based on impact of the Valdez Oil Spill, once the oil arrives, there will be no fish caught in this area in the rest of his lifetime. He had spoken earlier in the day with staff at a local diner. Several will be let go in the coming weeks.

Groups of people, whose jobs have ended along the coast, walk the beach. Hired by BP, they walk looking for tar balls. Watching for signs of oil in the area and I am sure, contemplating what comes next. My mother in law and I stopped to walk through an open house at one of the condo’s built in the past couple years. It was raining, but there was an urgency with the limited staff on hand. BP has contracted long term leases on several of the available units for staff to arrive that evening. Rooms are being furnished for those that will have task in the area.

It seems that the question is not “if the oil will come” but “when the oil comes.”

Change is on hand for so many, and that change seems to be mainly unknown. How much of wildlife will be hurt, destroyed? What about the lives of those that make their home along the coast? Where will they relocate and how? What about the retirees? Will they be able to stay or will the stench and environment be too compromised?

We are scheduled to return some time during the week of July 4th . It may happen, it may not, but this past weekend we did get in some time to fish, to play, to rest, to be thankful and petition in prayer for a miracle for the Gulf Coast.

From Fancy Horse, whose town is directly impacted, they held a vigil, here is one portion of the evening. She posted other prayers too, nice for when the words just do not come.
Litany for our environment:

(Taken in part from the Litany for the Beckwith Camp and Conference Center Summer Camp [Beckwith Camp is an Episcopal camp for south Alabama, particularly Mobile and Baldwin Counties]

Officiant: Glorify God, all works of the Lord

People: Praise the Lord, now and forever.

O: In heaven beyond us, and this place by the bay,

P: Praise the Lord, now and forever.

O: In peace, let us pray for the Spirit of the Lord to renew the earth and the seas and all of God's creation.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For the Gulf of Mexico and all it touches, including Mobile Bay, Bon Secour Bay, Weeks Bay, and the contiguous rivers, tributaries, and wetlands, that they may be kept as pure as you created them.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For all who work on the waters that they be safe from harm; for all who have been injured, for all who have died, and for all who mourn.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For all who support their families and communities from the harvest of the waters.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For all who live along these waters and all who provide places of recreation for others.

P: Lord, hear our prayers.

O: For all who explore the earth, the sea, and under the sea for the natural resources of your creation for the good of all.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For your forgiveness for our greed in using more than we need of the resoures of your making, and for all the ways our greed has hurt your creation.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For all creatures of your making and for the natural habitants you have willed for them, that they be protected from all dangers.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For the governments of our nation, states, and communities, that they may serve your will for the good of everyone.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For all who are working now to remedy the Gulf oil spill, including BP, the Coast Guard, other national, state, and local agencies, and the volunteers, that they may be blessed with safety and success.

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For deliverance from fear, anxiety, and anger,

P: Lord, hear our prayer.

O: For your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven,

P: Lord, hear our prayer.


Friar Tuck said...


Susie said...

So beautifully said. I can't imagine waiting for the doom to ruin something so wonderful!

2Thinks said...

Also praying for a miracle for the Gulf Coast...

Maggie May said...

It is terrible the things that man does to the beautiful surroundings.
Your photos are magnificent and It makes my heart really sad to think of the massive oil-slicks and what it is doing to the flora and fauna for miles around.
Lets pray for a miracle because I really think one is needed.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Anonymous said...

What a lovely prayer!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I absolutely love the prayer! Thank you!! And the photographs are horrible to think of the devastation that is coming...simply an unthinkable tragedy!! Beautiful post!!! We all need to make prayer a priority for the Gulf right now...I know I do! Thank you! Love, Janine XO

The Muse said...

i will continue to lift you and your beloved beach in prayer...

Star Forbis said...

So heart breaking! Praying for the entire gulf coast & all those who will be affected by this. It's just so terrible. Thank you for this beautiful look into it.

FancyHorse said...

Thank you so much for posting this on your blog!

Gayle said...

Beautifully written, Lailani.

Seizing My Day said...

Beautiful post... reminding all of us to pray for a miracle! my heart is so attached to beaches... it is a place that draws me close to God... I can not imagine standing on the Gulf Coast when the oil hits... how would I feel then? =( God can use any circumstances... even those we can not comprehend! =)