I grew up loving trips to the Gulf Coast… cross the state line into Florida and I get a feeling of HOME — and odd, deep, excitement. As a child and later a teenager, 20 something and young mother I could stay at the beach, playing in the surf and watching the waves for an eternity. My soul rests when I look out at the Gulf.

In 1977 I was a part of the scientific crew on the Machias (research vessel from the University of Miami) to do baseline studies of the Gulf prior to opening it up to oil exploration and drilling. Due to an accident, we came in to port a week early to drop off our injured worker, only to discover that the Bureau of Land Management had decided to pull all of our funding. When we got off the boat a week later, we had no jobs. And, more importantly, there would be no hard data to show what the ecology and environment in the Gulf of Mexico had been like prior to drilling. If you can’t show what was there before, it is really difficult to prove that there has been great damage. That’s politics and law.

Today I find myself grieving. I drive a car, so I’m a part of the problem. Granted, one of our cars is a hybrid (Prius); Helps with gas mileage. Still, I grieve. The damage assessment from this leaking well only seems to get worse by the hour. I hope I live to see the recovery. I pray that God will guide the hearts and minds of those who must try to stop the hemorrhaging oil well and lead them to a solution. I look in horror at the pact with the devil that humankind has made to satisfy our need for energy – coal and oil…

Yes, I’m distressed. And trying to figure out how to help straighten the mess out (without making things worse). Forgive us, Father — we really don’t know what we are doing.