Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Way Things Used to Be by Denise Rednour

It used to be that each morning I would walk along the shore taking in the fresh air and listening to the sounds of the gulls and the boats departing for their days fresh catch. It was so relaxing and refreshing and you couldn't help but feel as one with nature.

Then, in the evenings after dinner, many a time my husband and I would either go for a leisurely drive along the coast or a walk down one of the beautiful piers. We'd walk holding hands and witness the dolphins playing joyfully in the moonlight and listen to the many fish feeding at the surface making feint "popping" sounds as they came up for air or a bite to eat. We loved to take our boat to Horn Island at night and just sit on the shore for hours. You felt as though you were the only two people on earth without a care and the beauty and peacefulness were unmatched.

Our beach was the center of our world; our relaxation when taking a walk, or our entertainment when we went fishing on the pier or invited and gathered with friends for a bonfire on the shoreline.

The beach was the perfect location for a wedding, viewing a meteor shower or eclipse, watching the holiday fireworks shows, or perhaps one of the many festivals such as the annual fishing rodeo or the kite festival, crab festivals, the Blessing of the Fleet, and beautiful events such as the Christmas boat parade.

Our beach is a way of life and for many, it's their livelihood. For generations, families have grown up here and their way of life is centered around the Gulf of Mexico. Not the side streets or the neighborhoods, but the beach itself.

I'm a middle aged woman now and it grieves me to think that all of the things I just mentioned are being taken away for generations to come....possibly forever. There will likely be no dolphin swimming in our waters, no fish for a little boy or girl to catch, no beautiful white sand beach to sun yourself and listen to the gulls while taking in the fresh air, no income to be made by the many fishermen, no tourism, no fishing charters, not much of anything will be the same.

There is a terrible fear that blankets the coast now. We are fearful for our health, we are fearful about the potential impact of a hurricane or even a tropical storm bringing oil many miles onshore. We are being lied to and shut out of actively volunteering to save our home.

Please pray for every person, every living being, and our very planet and ecosystem.

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