Heavy shade on a warm summer day. A bench, left vacant as I approached. Behind me, quaint Victorian homes nestled in gardens bursting with colour; old-fashioned roses, hydrangeas, delphiniums, lupins. In front of me was a path of gravel, crunching when people strolled by.
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
Nothing hurried about their footsteps. A leisured pace, muted voices, gentle conversation.
Ice cream and sunhats, the faint scent of sun tan lotion. People on holiday, relaxed, casual, the cares of the world set on the shelf for those few precious hours.
And always the sound of the sea. Small waves lapped against the harbour wall, cooling the air with the sound of water on the move. From time to time a sailing boat swept past, majestic with full sails taut with the stiff breeze out on the open water.
There’s a fishing boat, upmarket, sleek, with long rods either side of the cabin, reaching to the sky, prepared for use by anglers with dreams of a life-time catch.
The ferry glides past, in a hurry as it leaves its berth, the only thing in the whole area with a schedule to keep. Full of visitors, holiday makers and tourists, taking pictures of me and the gracious trees that surround me as I take pictures of them roaring past on their way to islands out towards the open sea.
They disappear from sight at last, whether travelling east or west they are gone but not forgotten as minutes later the waves of their wake slap against the harbour wall, drumming, echoing, sending spray high above the unsuspecting onlookers.
And I wonder, as I sit here on this peaceful afternoon, drinking in the sights and hearing the boom of the ferries’ wakes as they rush past – what wake do I leave? Does it disturb my world as I hurry through it, or does it leave a gentle lapping that rocks the universe with movement and causes little harm? Or perhaps it is so slow it barely moves or affects those in its path.
How does my life affect others? What waves ripple out from me that touch their lives? Do they cause harm or do they bless? Do they disturb or do they bring solace and peace?
May I become aware of the impact of the waves I leave behind, Lord, and may they always bring healing and peace.
What about you? What effect do your waves, your wake, have on those around you?