Friday greetings. It is an absolutely beautiful day here in Chicago; low humidity, abundant sunshine, with a temperature in the low 80's.
I am looking forward to my vacation, which begins in a few short hours. I will be spending the week with family and friends in Ogunquit, Maine, a small town on the coast of southern Maine, pictured here.
Ogunquit is the home of the famous "Marginal Way," a walkway along the dramatic coast line:
As well as Perkin's Cover, pictured here:
Here's a shot of the Ogunquit Lobster Pound:
As I look forward to the week away, I have become a bit down. My life in recent months has been in some turmoil. I've lost two friends who died very suddenly. Too many friends and family members are living through very serious illnesses. My Catholic worship life has been in upheaval and I am at a loss as to where this will lead.
This vacation along the coast couldn't come at a better time.
I remember once, in a place not too far north of Ogunquit, actually dancing with God. I was on retreat at this retreat house, along the coast in Biddeford, Maine.
I was in my early twenties, a seminarian with high hopes for a future in the ordained priesthood. I didn't have family members that were ill. There were no friends who died very suddenly. I remember standing on that beach you see above late one night during the retreat. There was no one around. And I just started to dance on the sand. If there is one gift I have not been given, it is the gift of dance. Ask anyone who has seen me on a dance floor at a family wedding! At any rate, there I stood, dancing on that seashore, just praising God and feeling like I was invincible, without a care in the world.
This week, on that same shore, I know that I will not be moved to dance. Folks, it's just that I am not finding much to dance about these days. Perhaps this is just some kind of maudlin pre-vacation feeling. I do hope to re-discover some of the joy that seems to have seeped out of my heart in these difficult months. That is what I am praying for as I prepare to fly to Boston later today. Please keep me in your prayers as the week unfolds. Not to worry, I am fine, just need some time to find the center again.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.