Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Soul searching

Gulf sunriseLast Sunday, sitting in our little church, some internal struggles were eating at me.

I can’t even state clearly what they were, but it had a lot to do with what little I’ve done with my winters. One hears of retirees going crazy if they don’t keep busy. Well, I’m sort of semi-retired, so maybe I’m only half-crazy.

Actually, I steer away from the “retired” label. We work full-time jobs in the summer and my winters are … supposedly … dedicated to writing, but I’ve not really thrown myself into it. I think these wasted opportunities are what bothered me.

Like I say, sitting in church, I was picking up on things that were being said and sung and something inside of me was clear, “I need to go to the beach.” OK, I’m not about to tell you God commanded me to visit the beach, but I knew I needed to be alone and think. Some of my best thinking has often occurred while walking the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Driving home, I mentioned this to Leah and she responded just like I knew she would: “Go.”

I did and it was good. I may or may not write at a later date about what inspiration I acquired during my hours walking the beach. With a little luck and work, it will be reflected on this page and within the pages of my books.

However, there was still some doubt eating at me when I set out for a sunrise walk my last morning on the island, partly because there had been no life-changing epiphany. I was literally asking God if there was something totally different I should be doing.

The answer, the best I could determine, was, “I’ve got you where I want you; just get busy.”

It was with all of this floating through my mind during that morning walk, watching as the sun began to appear, working its orange light around a few clouds, illuminating the blue waters below and highlighting pelicans and seagulls in flight.

I had carried my camera with me because, without getting too deep into it, that’s part of the message I felt I had received. I snapped a lot of photos, catching different lighting as the clouds moved. I looked at images like the one above and said … out loud, as I remember … “OK, God, is this your way of saying I’m on the right track?”

Does it really work that way? I choose to believe it can and I’m going to go with it.

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5 responses to “Soul searching

  1. Sandy Reichhoff October 18, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    That is a beautiful picture. Larry dreaded retirement. He talked about having a part time job to fill his time. He has had health problems ever since and mostly a struggle to stay alive and moving fills his time. I have no doubt you will find your way.

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  2. Joe October 18, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Good one Steve. It kind of hit home for me too. Since my mother passed away recently I’ve been in kind of a funk, sitting around thinking about things I need to do rather than doing things. My art has suffered with unfinished paintings sitting on easels, I have a buyer for this much too big house but I don’t know where I’ll go. It’s been a long time since I walked the beaches at Port A, I guess you’ll have to walk them for me.

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