One of my favorite things at the beach are the pelicans. There’s just something about them. They are large, majestic birds that fly with such a grace and beauty. The expressions they wear, so wise. I simply can’t keep from looking up at them whenever they fly overhead. (yes, I know the dangers all too well, but I still can’t take my eyes off of them). It is amazing to watch as they seemingly skim the tops of the ocean waves barely moving their wings as they sail down the coast. I am enthralled most though, with a pelican’s precision, determination, and courage as they dive for food! First, it scans the sea from high above somehow sensing where fish swim below. Then, stopping mid-air, the pelican turns it’s body into a perfect dive position, freezing in the exact spot for a split second, and then at high speed, plunges head first into the foamy waters below. Amidst the splash and waves, up comes the pelican with a gulp and he is off again to continue on to the next course of his meal. The rise and ebb of the waves don’t deter them. The loud cries of nearby seagulls don’t distract them from their goal. They simply do what they set out to do, without hesitation, as many times as it takes to fulfill their need.
You would think after all the years I’ve watched pelicans I might have learned a thing or two from them, but it wasn’t until this past respite on the shore that I began to see the lessons they have to share. Being at any new place in the journey of life, retirement for me, is exciting but it’s also scary. People keep asking me how I’m going to fill my time. I smile, and tell them something will come along. Oh sure, I have dreams, plans, and schemes, but the question is, am I brave enough, determined enough to go “head first” after them? You see that’s the thing about me and maybe with you too, I don’t like the unknown and I don’t like to fail. These traits don’t often lead to our goals and dreams being realized. I think my pelican friends have been showing me that it’s time to set my sights on something and plunge right in! Sure, the waters may get rough and I might not always find what I set out to find but with faith, I can rise up and dive again. It’s an important lesson I need to put into action! I’ve spent most of my life afraid to try new things: foods, roads, relationships, activites….the list goes on and on. I have allowed my dreams to be drowned out by my own cries of insecurity which has left a sinking feeling in my heart. No more! I’m sensing God leading me to new hopes and dreams and a braver, maybe little wiser me rising up. I no longer want anything to hold me back, mid-air if you will. So, armed with my new “pelican lessons” I think I’m finally ready to get into position and without hesitation DIVE ON IN!