For the last few summers, I have been traveling south, as in, of the border, with some of my kiddos and dearest friends. The water has been beautiful, the creatures wild and wonderful, the landforms breathtaking. I have been comforted and nurtured in those places where the names of holy things seemed as beautiful on Latin lips as did the entities themselves. This summer, I am staying stateside. My heart is pulling me to a place I have visited once before. We, Americans, call it Mobile Bay. Such a title seems a taunt to my summer groundedness.
But, I discovered an interesting fact that had long escaped me, today. Karen Zacharias, my writer hero, informed me that the Spanish had once named the Bay of Mobile, the Bay of The Holy Spirit. Well, as I have had some of my best moments on and near to that stretch of water, I have to believe the Spanish explorers were on to something.
In 2003, a few very brave ladies and I loaded up all of our children and a few dear, 18-20 year olds and took them all to stare into and over those waters of the Spirit. Imagine the seashore sans snow-cones and Skeeball, much less roller-coasters and redneck air- brush. God did deep healing in me that week as I watched children corral crabs and seine shrimp and flick fish from the waves. The quiet, interrupted only by delight, cured.
We took nets and lines and buckets. We had nearly no phone nor radio reception. We cooked our own food, well, my world-class cook/chef friends cooked our own food, be jealous. We rested on beaches where no one’s shadow ever fell across us. We caught our breath and a clue as to how much beauty resides all about us.
That’s the way I love to do vacation: with dear friends who can stand the quiet and children who are as curious about creation and the other creatures which share the earth as I am.
I am officially planning another trip this summer…Karen’s re-introduction confirmed a dream which I was holding in my heart to return.
“Bahia del Espíritu Santo,” indeed.