I am filled with so much gratitude and love. I am currently in Florida on vacation with my husband and two small children. It’s our last summer hoorah before the kids start school.
We often come to the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s a special place for our family filled with wonderful memories. We see dolphins gracefully swimming nearby in the Gulf’s warm turquoise waters. We watch pelicans dive headfirst into the calm water in search of fish. And this time, it’s no different. The dolphins and the pelicans are plentiful.
But something miraculous occurred on this trip. Just yesterday, a family of manatees swam near us for hours, slowly moving up and down the shallow coast. They came within a few feet of us, all four of us bursting with excitement at the sight! My girls, with their goggles on, kept going under the water to look at these extraordinary – and usually elusive – mammals in their natural habitat. While we were bubbling with enthusiasm, we remained calm so as not to startle them. And they seemed to appreciate it because they kept returning to the spot where we were nearly all day. It was something none of us will ever forget.
And then this morning, we saw the rangers at one of the sea turtle nests. My husband took the girls to to see what was going on. When they came back, my girls shouted, “Mommy, the baby sea turtles hatched last night. We saw them! We saw them!” The ranger told my husband that not all of them had made it to the water before dawn and and they we collecting them so they would not be in danger during the bright morning sun and invited us to release the little hatchlings tonight once the sun goes down. What an amazing experience it will be for all of us!
I write this to share these experiences with you as a reminder of the magic that surrounds us all every single day, no matter where in the world we may live. God created this world full of beauty and wonder – we just have to tune in to see it. I sit here and watch the tides roll in and out and think about the fact that the moon’s gravitational pull is making that happen. What a miracle. I see the extraordinary evidence of reproduction, whether animal or plant, and am in awe at both the complexity of it, as well as the effortless ease with which it happens. I am grateful for the beauty of the flowers, and the feel of the sand beneath my toes, and the lapping of the gentle waves. And of course, the sound of laughter coming from my girls as they play in the water.
I am beyond grateful for the beauty that surrounds us all. It’s there for all of us to see. We just have to keep our eyes up and look for it. I hope you can remember to tune in and see the beauty all around you. I promise, it’s there.
Sending much love and gratitude from me to you,