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I’d walked down to watch the sunrise. I do this regularly but haven’t gone in a few weeks. My brother was here for a rapid, intense remodel of my absurdly small sliver of a bathroom. Then, the deluge came. Tools and damp materials occupy a part of nearly every area of this 600 square foot casita but the beach was pulling on me hard. For me, a productive day is more likely when it starts with a walking meditation.

An easy one thousand footsteps to the water’s edge, I got there as dawn was just breaking. Rising precisely from the exact line of horizon; that round, red, big, bright orb. Gulf water can often be the color of Mississippi mud, mainly after heavy rains, but it too was especially spectacular. Remarkable.

Gentle waves glided ashore. Aquamarine blues transformed to emerald green and the emeralds transformed into sapphires. Rolling rainbows of sparkling water diamonds. Unbelievably beautiful. I walked along peacefully mesmerized. A few other early birds were already out enjoying the show.

I walked to my normal destination and stopped to try and let this gift cleanse my cluttered mind. Our lives are complex. Stories of national tragedies can sometimes tip me over and my balance wavers. I was struggling to wrap my head around a few things that were pushing too close to my own comfort zone.

I stay alert when I am out and about. Walking alone I pay attention. I notice who is around. Another walker had passed me when I took my moment to soak in the beauty. He was about thirty yards behind me when I turned around to head back.

As I got closer to the area where I have to use the steps to get back up to the seawall, a scene began unfold. At the bottom of the steps was a highly agitated, screaming man. I could turn around and walk back East to another set of steps. I stopped to try and decide what to do. By now, the other walker was next to me. He too was concerned. He could tell I was trying to decide what to do.

He quietly said, I will walk with you if you want. And together we walked over toward the steps. By the time we got to the steps, the agitated man had wandered off and the problem had resolved itself.

My morning was rescued. A total stranger stepped forward to try and keep me safe. There are heroes among us. We walked along the seawall and exchanged the ten minute versions of our lives. Goodness rules. There are more good people than troubled people. Thank you stranger. You’re my hero.