As a young kid in Act 1 of my life, I grew up in western Illinois along the banks of the Mississippi River.

Easter was a special time of the year.

I recall the first time I went to the Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at Moline’s Wharton Fieldhouse. The place was packed.

At age 10, I felt so very grown up, especially when standing up to sing, “Christ, the Lord has risen today . . .”

Now here I am in Act 3 of my life. It’s a Sunday in August; and yet, I have a feeling like I did when I was 10 years old, attending the Easter Sunrise Service.

What happened?

I went swimming this morning at dawn.

I went swimming at Barton Springs.

I arrived when the skies were dark.

I entered the cool, invigorating water, just as the sky was showing the first signs of the early morning light.

I swam.

I breathed.

I swam.

I breathed.

I swam.

I breathed.

My swimming strokes and breathing were so graceful and so peaceful.

There I was in Barton Springs on an August Sunday morning, feeling as though I was receiving a baptism, surrounded by nature and a handful of Austinites, committed like me to an early morning ritual of awakening to the day.

Through the years, I’ve discovered the bigger sanctuary of life.

Yes, the bigger sanctuary of life.

No four walls were needed today to connect me to a joyful awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence within me.

Each breath I took while swimming in the sacred spring-fed water of Barton Springs today, awakened me more fully to experiencing the Divine connection.

I didn’t stand and sing, “Christ the Lord has risen today . . .”

However, deep within my being, I sensed myself connecting to the spirit of Christ, rising and standing tall within me.

Yes, as the morning light grew brighter in the sky over Austin, Texas, I felt the inner light of the Christ, glowing and burning brightly within my heart.

Loving you,

Robert, aka Bob