Yesterday was a very interesting day. We drove out to Limantour Beach, as we have been doing frequently, as part of our health-restoration routine.
We bring with us snacks, water, camp chairs, warm clothes and our Bible. Depending on how Holy Spirit moves us, we’ll walk along the water, or sit in the chairs soaking in the healing energy of the crashing waves and the uplifting smell of the seaweed and marine life of the ocean.
Although the skies were mostly clear and blue yesterday (and the temperature in San Rafael was in the eighties), the wind blew cold from the north on the beach. This is not unusual for Limantour, and is one of the reasons why this beautiful beach is not as popular as Stinson Beach. That’s fine with us, we like the solitude.
We planted our camp chairs close to the water, arranged our stuff in front of the chairs, and sat watching the waves.
As we usually do when we are at beaches, we said powerful prayers to bring healing to the oceans and waterways, to all of the sea creatures, to the earth and to all of the living beings who draw sustenance from the earth. We feel the urgency of the earth as it struggles to come back into balance from the foolish and destructive choices man is making and the consequences of those choices (islands of debris floating in our oceans, the damaging radiation that permeates the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima, overfishing, fracking, releasing of toxins into our rivers by the EPA, our precious air fouled by factories and cars, etc.)
We have done these prayers for years now, to heal the earth, and have been heartened by the small and large advances right-thinking people are making.
There were a few people on the beach yesterday, some sitting as we were, and others walking along the water. Many people walking past us smiled at us, and we smiled back at them.
We saw a couple walking from the south to the north, in front of us. Older women, one of them was carrying a large round-bottom basket, stooping down periodically to pick up stones and sand dollars. I assumed the basket was for collecting these beach treasures.
Three seals popped their heads out of the water, very close to the shore, staring intently at us. We think of these seals as our friends, we see them every time we go to Limantour, and they always pop up in front of wherever we sit, and we wave and say hello.
Two young women came along, walking along the water from the south, and passed us. One of the women stopped short, then turned and walked toward us. As she came closer, she asked us, “Do you want a kitten?” As it was an odd question to be asked while sitting at a beach, we were a bit taken aback. She was carefully holding a towel, and showed us a tiny kitten resting there. The kitten could not have been more than a couple of weeks old, grey and white, and just cuter than cute.
She told us that she had found the kitten in a dune, and she didn’t know what to do with it. She kept asking us if we’d like it. My heart was torn, I love kittens, and cats, and have had several in my life, but I knew that it was not the right time to bring an animal into our lives.
Donald said prayers for the kitten, asking God to protect the kitten and to help it find a good home. We thanked the young women for their good and compassionate hearts, and we very sorrowfully said we couldn’t take the precious little thing. We knew that she’d probably take it to the ranger station, or give it to someone who would love it.
She and her friend continued walking north, and she kept saying, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with it!”
Donald and I speculated that the mother of the kitten must have been a feral cat, and somehow left the kitten on the sand. Perhaps the mother had gotten killed, and couldn’t return for the kitten. We were happy that these women had found the kitten, and that the kitten was saved from a terrible death.
We sat in front of the water for another couple of hours, until the wind got too cold, even after piling on more clothes. As we were packing up our stuff, two women came walking down along the water from the north and as they got closer they approached us.
They appeared distraught. One of them asked us, “Do you remember seeing us walk past, I was carrying a large basket?”
We said yes, we do remember! She told us that she had lost a kitten, could we help them in any way?
Stunned, but not surprised, I said, “Two young women found the kitten, and asked us if we wanted to take it. We said we couldn’t.”
With palpable relief, she asked us how long ago that had been. We said a couple of hours.
She told us that they had driven back to their home in Berkeley before they realized the kitten wasn’t in the basket. She was fostering three rescue kittens, hand-feeding them with a bottle.
Her partner walked north, to ask the people farther up the beach if they had seen the two young women. As I walked with the first woman back to the parking lot, she explained that her beloved seventeen year old dog had died the day before, and the last thing her dog had done before dying was to wash the three kittens. She had come to the beach to grieve for him, and brought the kittens in the basket.
She said she had been fostering kittens for years, and had fostered hundreds. She was beyond relieved to hear that someone had found ‘Pavarotti,’ as she knew that he would be okay whatever happened to him from then on.
(If Donald and I had taken the kitten, we would have left immediately to feed it, and thus we would have missed seeing these women and giving them the information they needed to heal and forgive themselves.)
We got to the parking lot before she did, and we packed our stuff away. As she approached her car, I went toward her and said, “Let me give you a hug!”
She hugged me back, and said her name was Nancy. Nancy asked me, “Do you like jam?” She said she makes jams, only for her family and friends, and wanted to give us some of her homemade, organic jam. From the trunk of her car she brought out a jar of the deepest red-orange apricot and handed it to me. “I am so grateful to know that Pavarotti will be okay, thank you so much!” Then she got another jar, dark red strawberry, and handed it to me. Donald came up and hugged her, and said thank you. She got another jar out, bright raspberry, and I said, “That’s too much!” She said no, it wasn’t, that was what she made her jams for, to give to her loved ones.
She then said, “Let me show you something!” In the front seat of her car was the basket, and the two other kittens were inside. ‘Yin’, was a ginger color, and Trevi was black and white. Tiny, tiny, and still with scabs from having been rescued from near death.
As we drove off, we waved to Nancy, and we were in awe to be part of this miracle. Pavarotti, the spunky one, rescued once by Nancy, had crawled out of the basket, unseen, and on a sparsely populated beach, was rescued again by two lovely young women.
How blessed is he, and how blessed are all of us.