This is a photo that I took while on vacation in Florida. I had just walked about a mile along the beach at Stump Pass Beach State Park to the end of a very long sand bar that opened up to the gulf on one side and a coastal waterway on the other. Upon arriving at what felt to me a sacred space I was captivated by the serenity of the landscape and by the sound that the tide made as each wave washed in and out, gently moving the shells so that they collided with each other in the shallow water producing a kind of "tinkling" noise that would be akin to the most serene wind chime ever created.
What captivated me even more was, upon turning to go back, witnessing the great stream of people who were also making their way along the beach. Each, I prayed, might have eyes, ears, and a heart that is open to the sacredness of this special place.
This is one among countless spaces in the world where pilgrimages to wild spaces can be made. Beaches. Mountains. Valleys. Marshes. Rivers. Deserts. Each of these are sacred spaces where pilgrimages may be made to experience not only serenity but also joy, wonder, and other intangibles that fill our hearts and enrich our lives. Thanks be to God.