“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir was spot on, as every time I wander outside to still a moment in a shot, I receive something far more. This weekend was no different.

Saturday, while coasting on the waves, on the Mantanzas River, we saw Pelicans swallowing fish whole, a shrimp trawler casting hopeful nets, and a new perspective of the city we have grown to truly cherish. Seeing Saint Augustine from the water, without the chaotic crowds and traffic and the sight-blocking staircase of building tops, allowed us to see the architecture, the history, and the vibrance as we think it was intended.

Do you ever wish that you could, with a wave of your hand, transport a scene to its origin, right there in the moment? I think that often when traveling through old towns. I felt on Saturday like I’d been given a little glimpse. I could see everything with fresh eyes. It was certainly a gift from above.

I felt for a moment the roaring of carts pulling materials, of men yelling direction at each other, and the excitement of what was ahead, as if I were transported back hundreds of years, just for a second. The sea lay before them, mostly untouched and abounding with life.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the hard work put in to form such a magnificent fort and strong city. I relished in the simplicity of the moment; the wind blowing my hair back and the sun warming my skin.

Then, the bridge joining island to mainland opened. Again, another marvel that I sometimes take for granted when I am in a hurry to get across. My sons grew quiet, marveling at the inner-workings of the drawbridge. A few minutes later, we had the privilege of watching it close, from directly beneath it. Once again, my sons’ jaws dropped, as they gazed up, admiring the mastery of engineering.

At the completion of our outing, I felt immensely peaceful. It was almost overwhelming, having experienced such transcendence and tranquility.

We set out to do something fun for the afternoon, and were subtly moved and changed. Thank you, Lord, for such moments in which our mindshift changes, and we see your creation as you intended.


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