A small group of island residents, concerned about the possibility of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reaching Sanibel and Captiva, are attempting the use the power of positive thinking as a means of protecting our local shores from disaster.
Last Friday evening, the group met for a 10-minute period of meditation on Algiers Beach. Annie Nachtsheim, who led the vigil, read a one-page statement softly as the five participants sat on the sand with eyes closed, listening to the sounds of the Gulf waves wash along the unspoiled shoreline.
"Animals are dying, plants are dying and Mother Earth is writing in agony," her message read, in part. "We have been lulled into a false sleep by being told that others are taking care of this problem. This is not so."
The idea to conduct a peaceful gathering of locals was born through word of mouth among several islanders, who conceived of the idea to get together in an informal manner at one of Sanibel's beaches. With no other proactive oil-related events happening on the island as of last week, these friends decided to take action for themselves.
Facing west — "in the direction of the oil" — the group sat in a semicircle during the vigil, listening to Nachtsheim's plea.
"Let the love within your heart keep pouring in to the Net of Light, and hold it tight," she continued. "Calmly and diligently watch as the light from your heart flows along the strands of the Net. It will follow your command and continuously move forward. As soon as you think of it, it will happen."
According to Nachtsheim, the group will gather every Friday evening at the same location, as long as there is interest in islanders to join them in meditative prayer. There is no cost to attend the meeting and all are welcome.
Posed in a moment of collective harmony are, from left, Henry and Annie Nachtsheim, Mary Bauer and Ruth and Bob Mayer.
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Friday, June 18
Gulfside City Park