Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Sorry, I haven't got the hang of blogger yet. Once I posted the photos, I couldn't find a way to enter the text. Please see previous post for the images.

This is an answer to L. L. Barkat's invite "On, In, or Around Monday," writings about "place", that is, my response and observations about being in a certain place or site.

The Mini-Ocean-Beach on my Dining Room Table

I have a treasure trove brought home from the beach.
(The first time in some years I was actually strong enough
To walk down the slipsy hill, through loose sand,
And get down to the ocean’s slipsy sneaky incoming wave-edges.)

Now I’m at home, at my favorite perching place,
My dining room table. The table is a constant.
But he mementos or “specials” parked on it, change.
Appear or disappear with my mood or my whimsy –
Or with the commonalities or surprises that come to hand.

To commemorate that lovely, inspiring visit
To the beach, I build a memory-garden:
The homeside mini-beach comes to live on my table.

Here, I may explore the intricacies,
Look closely at small or lovely details,
And for each new zoom in, for each new view
Where my eyes focus on pieces or particles (or the whole),
Say “Thank you, Lord, for creating such detail,
Such beauty. Thank you for encouraging my soul.”

A tray full of beach sand, with its amalgamation
Of shell-chips, gravel-plenties, and wave-smoothed rocks
(a fourth inch, half an inch, even one and a half).
Yes, even one small piece of round-edged glass!
That’s my tableside beach, a reminder to worship God.

A drinking-water jug, with crinkly clear plastic modelings,
That’s my ocean -- a faintly imperfect analogy, but
Its reflections echo the flowing He, my Maker Creator,
Sends along the shoreline in delicately thin waves of the sea.

A years-dried-out, curvaceous clustered seaweed balances
On the neck of the water jug, to aid the “beach mood effect.”
(Gathered long ago on another outing to an ocean beach).
A weaving of ragged tendrils, a magic swirl of little tubes,
And at the bottom, where once the hold-fast attached to rocks,
An array of the most incredible, knobby barnacles.
There are snarls of tendrils in me; meandering pipes;
And sharp-edged barnacles to prick, but also to gleam.
But may He remind me of my beauty in him:
For he sees me, not as a pressed amalgam of twisted lines
And peculiar quirks, but as a unique unity of beauty,
For my strangeness is covered over fully so that he beholds
In me only the righteousness of God in Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for my tableside beach
To call my heart ever nearer to you, a worship-tool
To banish my fears and cares in the contemplation
Of your intricacies, and your Holy Design for my life!

copyright (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller
Feel free to link to this post, and to make a copy for your own personal use, but please do not copy this for any public purpose.


  1. I love little memory gardens. I have a circle of beach stones on my bedside table.

    Now, I am wishing for the privilege of your salt-air experience, swirl of magic tubes and all. :)

    Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  2. How cool is that -- a portable oceanside!


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