August 04, 2008


School starts this week so we made a run to Tybee Island with my brother in law Paul and his kids. My father in law came down as well. We stayed in a great 3 bedroom condo right on the beach and everyone came home looking like roasted turkeys. I didn't get my camera out as much as I would have liked because with 6 kids, sand tends to get everywhere but I did snap a few pictures here and there.

Samuel and Zoe look for a way to make it to the beach on their own. They look more like brother and sister, not cousins.

Early morning weather forcast.

On Sunday morning I woke up early to walk on the beach. As I began to step over trash that had been left by beach goers I saw a few people with buckets gathering sand dollars (live ones) to take home and bleach for their collection. There were also a few metal detector guys looking for lost treasures while scanning over garbage. I began to think about how easy it is to tune trash out when we don't feel responsible for it. I found myself being "irked" by the multiple displays of selfishness. People just caring about getting what they want, not giving anything in return. Then it hit me that they are just like me. I'm that way too. Selfish and living for myself. It seems to be in our DNA.

Unless we make a concious effort to be grateful, responsible and servants of others, we tend to think of life in terms of "me." So I started to pick up trash. A lot of it. I began to make an effort to thank God for this beautiful place and the wonder of the ocean. I spoke out loud as I walked along and I wondered if people thought I was crazy. I started to feel different about judging others for not caring because I remembered all the times I had gone to the beach in Hawaii and California, looking for what I could get. Not caring about giving backto the planet, not wanting to be accountable for the abuse and waste that I have contributed to the environment. I stopped being irritated at people stepping over the trash and actually felt thankful that I saw the opportunity to pick it up. To be a giver. But I did hope that someone might see me do it and think about picking it up themselves. That they might see the selfishness in their own hearts and feel convicted like I did.

I walked for a long time and saw a small group of people near the dune grass kneeling down, digging and taking pictures. I walked up to see that a sea turtle had came in the night before and laid 100 eggs in a clutch. Her tracks could still be seen coming in and going out and there was a marine biologist there doing research, and moving the eggs to a much safer place. I wish I would have had my camera so I could show you but I left it at the condo. I felt like I was watching National Georgaphic, it was so cool. I stayed for about 15 minutes talking to the lady who was part of the "Dawn Patrol," they looked for turtle nests so they could protect and count the eggs. In 50 -70 days, while under the cover of night, these little turtles will hatch, crawl out of the sand, and make their way to that big blue ocean. They will take their chances with predators, boats, people and garbage, and hopefully one day come back to Tybee to lay their own eggs.

As I walked back, I thanked God for letting me see such a beautiful thing and I couldn't help but wonder if it wasn't somehow related to the fact that on that morning, I made an effort to show Him that I cared about His creation.


birdonthelawn said...

that is so amazing. while words are powerful, i hate those, "ah! i wish i had my camera!" moments where a photo would have been helpful in telling the story and remembering it.

also, i wish there was some kind of a sand repellent spray for cameras...

at the beach without me= wrong. let us plan a get away.

Six Simms Singing said...

Wow, Shawna! That beach picture is something else! And that's an awesome story. How precious!