Gimme Shelter

It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.

Irish Proverb

On our last day in Denmark, we visited the Strandings Museum, so named for the countless ships that were stranded there on the beach over the years. We stood on the jetty looking out at the North Sea, a wild, harsh and unforgiving body of water. It is predictable only in its unpredictability. To live on its shore and make a living sailing on or fishing its waters, one has to be a hardy soul. Standing on the rocky point at the entrance to the harbor, with the waves crashing on either side, one has a very clear picture of just how small and at the mercy of the elements one is. 

After touring the museum where we learned all about the perilous life (and often death) of a sailor, we enjoyed one more Danish lunch of fish and chips (and the prerequisite Carlsberg beer of course), and then headed down the road a few miles and parked our car. That part of the coast is characterized by rolling grass covered sand dunes, that are dotted by small colorful country cottages, tucked into the shelter of the dunes. From our vantage point by our car we could see a trail up to the top of the dunes and hear the ocean waves on the other side, but there was no ocean in sight. Standing in the middle of the dunes, next to several colorful cottages, and with the waves crashing on the other side of the hilly mounds, one has a very clear picture of how a small shelter is a merciful find in the face of the elements. 

What is true on the wild and windy coast of the North Sea is true in the wild and stormy rides of our lives. We are all in need of shelter, and we provide it to one another. Home is meant to be a shelter, as are our relationships, and, as are our own hearts. Let us build colorful cottages tucked into the dunes in which to retreat and find shelter, in order to be ready once again to head out and navigate our wild waters.