Even the Bones…

I went to Boneyard Beach this week. It is a long stretch of sand, covered with downed trees which appear to have toppled when the water eroded the sandy soil beneath them. Each one is its own work of art, like giant pieces of driftwood. The sun has bleached them to almost white. The root systems are mangled but complete. The branches reach for the sun and the sea from their sideways positions on the ground. Up close the texture is exquisite, running along the trunks in ridges and swirls. The parts which rest upon the sand have barnacles and seaweed growing as if they are trying to resuscitate the trees. Tide pools shimmer, reflecting the sky above; life scurries about in them, their own little worlds unto themselves.

The water line is clear on most of the skeletons; above the line are sun dried bones, below it, are puddles overflowing with life and shadows. Not only has the tide eroded the soil, it also eats away the wood, leaving behind holes, textures, and odd misshapen branches that resemble bridges with arms reaching out. It is a beautiful place of death and though these massive soldiers have fallen to the waves and the wind, they remain a shelter for small creatures as well as a beautiful memorial of their former selves. It feels like a sacred space. A space where death is a masterpiece rather than a morbid sorrowful shroud.

Peace rests among the bones here. The sea sings to any who visit, calling us to walk with the waves. To listen to the laps. To soak in the surf. All the while, strolling under and over branches as if this highway of bones is the gentlest of walks, rather than a climb and maze to conquer. It strikes me, that here, death is part of life. The fallen make way for the living. The rugged weather-worn wood, holds space for me to meander through and absorb every detail. The wind caresses and cools the heat of the sun. Every angle brings with it a new form and turn. It seems the wisdom of the wood lies upon the sand waiting to seep into those who will take the time to look and listen.

Tomorrow is resurrection Sunday. The day death was defeated. The day life was born in full. The day of days. The day Christ finished his work for all time. The skeletons no longer haunt us with doom. They simply point out the life all around us. Their wisdom shared in ways which are lovely and profound. They give us an appreciation of the life which swirls at the foot of the cross. Each precious drop of blood spilled and each breath sacrificed, voluntarily, willingly, by the one who loves bigger than the wind, the waves, and the sea. The one who disregards death as merely a tool, on the way to swallow us up in the glorious freedom of life.

His life. For ours. The great exchange. Even the bones cry out his name.  

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