At the Beach

As I was walking along the water’s edge at the beach this summer, I came upon a little boy on his way to the water, crabbing net in one hand, colorful watering can in the other. He wore the look of intense focus on his 5-year old face — he was on a mission and on task!!

A few meters further and I came upon a little girl. She looked to be about 2 years old. Her blond hair was very curly and she wore a  cute little pink bikini bottom with a ruffle across her bum. She was standing in the water that came up to her little ankles. She spotted a wave coming at her and pointed excitedly at the approaching wave — the thrill of water in motion filled her entire little self!!! She watched it as it swirled around her ankles before fading away and, as she lifted her gaze, she was enchanted again, pointing at the new wave in the distance. Once again she was over-the-moon as this new wave repeated the motions of the one before it.

The next time I saw the little boy, I found him on his way back to his “base camp” on the beach. He still carried the crabbing net in one hand, watering can in the other. This time, though, he had entered into a more complicated phase of his mission. The incline of the beach was now an upward one and his net tended to bump into the sand as he ascended. He was still on task, but, whereas before his focus was placed solely on the water ahead of him, he was now faced with a far more complex set of tasks. He had to keep his destination in sight to orient his movements. He had to keep the net from bumping into the slope as he moved toward his “base camp” and all the while, manage to keep the water from spilling out of the watering can. Nevertheless, he was up to the task and I marvelled as I watched him as, with fierce determination, he went about accomplishing his “mission”.

Coming back upon the little girl with the golden curls, I couldn’t help but smile. Her ability to be ecstatic with each new wave had not diminished in the slightest! Each new wave was just that — it was new and it totally tickled her again, before disappearing at her feet!

Two delightful, yet very different and ways of being in the moment. Neither one was “better” than the other. They both gave me food for thought.

I think I’ll hang on to the image of the fierce determination and focus of the little boy to call on when I’m feeling a little “scattered” and have a project I want to finish. I will also hold on to the image of the little girl to conjure up the perfect image of what giving in to the wonder of the present looks like!

6 thoughts on “At the Beach

  1. Thanks for the inspiration! I went on a little journey myself this morning that began with a leisurely 3 mile (5 kilometer?) bike ride out to a secret beach i recently discovered in the borough of Fenwick. I walked slowly along the desolate beach…my footsteps marking the formerly pristine sand. I was on the lookout for brilliant white stones to add to my beach rock garden and found 3 new additions. I made my way to the jetty and hiked the massive granite blocks, one by one, ~500 meters out to the rusted white metal 19th century Lighthouse. Midway to the end, I spotted a black seal as he (maybe a she?) popped his head out of the water as he drifted effortlessly along side the jetty! He popped back under and I waited patiently on the jetty with my iPhone in hand to try and capture the moment but alas the shy seal didn’t resurface as I’m sure he was carried out to sea by the strong current. I envied his early morning swim in the calm waters and wondered if and when he’d be back. I promised myself I’d join him (or her) for a swim next summer at this very spot. I eventually reached the lighthouse and took one last long look for the seal, turned and ventured back from whence I came. I reflected on my little journey and was appreciative of the moment. #inthemoment

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    • Right?! I quite agree! I can’t think of a single time when I’ve returned from a walk along the beach and felt angry, in a funk,… It’s always calming and restoring for me!!

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