Michael Beck
Navarre Beach, Florida USA
2019

Story Info

Hurricane Michael blast at Cape San Blas

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Story & Experience

Why this Place?

Navarre Beach, Florida USA

My best friend, Rusty K, second generation Irish, who has attended all of the annual Earth Exchanges I have hosted when they were in the environs of where we live in the northwest corner of Florida and I were called to mark this year’s ceremony in a more unique way.

We asked ourselves, what do you give ceremonially to a wounded place on the 10th consecutive anniversary of bearing of witness not only locally but all around the country? We decided, for us , it should be BALLOONS (as long as we left no trace.)

So, at daybreak today, June 22, 2019, we went like we so often have done following woundings as slimy as the dumping of almost 5 million barrels of crude oil into the soft underbelly of the Gulf of Mexico or as violent as the storming ashore of a Category 5 Hurricane  and sat at the lip of that great bowl that contains those tortured and malevolent  waters. We sat on the almost completely vacant crystal white beach just 3 miles from my house where a hand full of hurricanes have raked the ancient sand dunes flat and stripped the vegetation bare in years recently passed just as Hurricane Michael had done 8 months ago just 4 hours south of where we sat connected by that lip.

We listened to the songs of shore birds that have returned and now flourish. .We were in-heartened by the verdant green of the sea-oats and blue stemmed grasses that have come back with the help of a coastal dune restoration program. And we talked about years past and other Global Earth Exchanges, at least what we could remember. We’re not 25 anymore.

It never felt much like daring to bear witness this year, even after the wet kiss of a morning squall passed over and blessed our small gathering. Though sandy, soaked and hot, all the way home parts of Peter Mayer’s greatest hit, Holy Now, kept deepening our morning’s delight.

When I was in Sunday school

We would learn about the time

Moses split the sea in two

Jesus made the water wine

And I remember feeling sad

That miracles don t happen still

But now I can t keep track

Cause everything s a miracle

Everything, Everything

Everything s a miracle

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