Because I found a few on the beach.
I grew up near Lake Ontario. When you grow up near big water like the ocean or a Great Lake (ie, water you can’t see across), it gets in your blood. Well, it did mine, anyway. I’m the most relaxed near the ocean. I love the smell of the water, the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the feel of the sand as it disappears from under your feet when a wave comes. I love watching dogs romp on the beach. You’d be hard pressed to find a creature having more fun than a dog romping on the beach.
So, I went to the beach for a couple of days. I figured if I’m going to live in a coastal state, I should spend a little time exploring its coast. This morning, before I left for home, I took a long walk on the beach. I noticed some things, which got me thinking about Life.
First, I noticed that the waves that make the most fuss – crashing the loudest and and throwing up lots of foam – very rarely get my feet wet when I’m walking along the water line. It’s the ones that sneak in on little cat feet that make the most progress up the beach and swirl around my ankles. Sometimes a big one will, too, but more often than not, a quiet one is involved in pushing the big one’s water further than it would have gone on its own. It reminded me of the difference between the people who peak early in life (like the high school football player who looks back on his glory days in his middle age) and the ones that move steadily and quietly through life, making a big difference all along the way. I’d like to think I’m like the quiet wave, not making a big fuss about things, sometimes helping the big ones, but trying to move steadily forward.
Next, I noticed the horseshoe crabs that wash up on the beach. They get stuck in the sand, which is not where they’d really like to be. They don’t seem to panic about it (although, really, who am I to know what goes on in the mind of a horseshoe crab?), they just wait. They know that one of two things will happen – either a wave will come along and wash them back into the water or it won’t. Since there are way more horseshoe crabs in the water than on the beach, the odds seem good that they’ll get back in the water and there really isn’t a whole lot they can do in the meantime to control the waves. So, they hang in there. Accepting what they can’t control.
The last thing I noticed was that the closer you are to the water, the firmer the sand. It’s not as comfortable to sit in and relax, but it makes moving forward very easy. The dry, soft, squishy sand is much more comfortable to sit in and is very cozy, but it’s a hard slog to make progress through it. There are times in life when the comfy sand is the right place to be, but if you want to move forward, get close to the action. Walk on the edge.
So, there you have my philosophical waxing of the day. Move quietly, steadily forward, accept what you can’t control and stay close to the action.