Posted by: beachchairandabook | June 21, 2012

Oprah, Rehoboth, and the Sunday Brunch Book Club

I watched the final episode of the Oprah show for the answers to two burning questions. How would the talk diva fill an entire hour with only herself as guest?  And where did she buy that gorgeous pink cocktail dress? I listened with only one ear; most of my attention was taken up by the book list on my brand new Amazon Kindle. Throughout Oprah’s farewell monologue, only one sentence caused me to stop reading and listen. “There are no coincidences,” she said, “only divine order.”

So what does a quote from Oprah Winfrey have to do with Rehoboth Beach and the Sunday Brunch Book Club? More than I could ever have imagined. But first, a little background.  I was supposed to be in Charleston, South Carolina but like dominoes, my plans fell, one after another. In the almost-distant past I would have spent an entire day bemoaning the fact that I was up here instead of down there. That day, however I patiently waited. What would divine order bring to replace a southern weekend immersion in culture, history and the company of good friends?

Divine Order, in all her glory, showed up that Wednesday in the form of a generous friend and an email.   At 5:00 Friday morning I was on my way to Rehoboth, a beach house and the women of the Sunday Brunch Book Club. Only two of the members knew me, but by the end of the first day I’d been asked to join a great group of book loving women. And what a weekend it was! We laughed, cooked, ate, drank, shopped, walked the beach, made fancy throw pillows by hand, and discussed a book. In that big, but somehow still cozy beach house, the bonds of strong female friendship were on full display. And thanks to their warm, gracious welcome, for me that weekend was among the best of the year.

It was one part of what made those three days memorable. On the second morning I got up just before dawn, trying hard not to disturb my roommate while I pulled on jeans and a shirt and fumbled for my shoes and my phone. Notice I said phone, not camera. That little Android has all but replaced my used-to-be-favorite Canon Power Shot!

Outside was pitch black with just a few streaks of gray at the edges, but no way would I be two blocks from the beach and not watch sunrise over the water. As it turned out, I was far from alone. The sidewalks were full of early risers, clutching cups of hot beverages in their hand, all headed for the beach like pilgrims on their way to worship the Mother of Waters.

I didn’t know what to expect. I’d seen sunrise over the Caribbean, but could an East Coast early morning show compare? How quickly I found out that it could! I saw a woman sitting in the sand near where I stood. She wore a hooded  sweatshirt and held the big-girl camera I’d like to own one day. Simultaneously she pointed her big gun and I aimed my little derringer of a phone camera at the sky. Over the tide, the first pale pink streaks of morning split the blue-gray horizon. Slowly they turned to flame. Dawn blazed across the sky, shimmering over the water in broad strokes of gold, azure and rose pink so magnificent I expected the crowd to either clap in unison  or fall down on their knees in wonder.

The woman with the camera and I began an awe-struck conversation about the absolute magnificence of what we had just witnessed. What else could move two complete strangers to share a hug? She offered to take my picture and directed me, instead of facing the camera, to face the sunrise. How did she know?  That image is a perfect visual for the way I live my life – always facing the sunrise, with an unwavering belief in divine order and giant-sized beach bucket of gratitude.

Facing the Sunrise at Rehoboth Beach



  1. Niambi your writing is as rich as a bowl of Hagen-Daz icecream! The details you put into describing the mood and the scenes are as ornate as The Vatican. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Chuleta!

    • Coming from a woman who herself has quite a way with words, I’m honored by your praise and your continuing support. Thank YOU, my friend!

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