What is the
deal with old ladies and Kleenex? I
have to buy the Costco pack whenever my Mom comes to visit; otherwise, one box
lasts us a year. Old ladies don’t go ANY
where without Kleenex and the snot rag jammed up the leg of that lady’s suit truly
epitomized this. Of course as I
ruminated on the topic the VERY NEXT old lady I happened upon had a tissue
clutched in her hand like she was Linus with his security blanket. Truth.
Other than that, I was treated to a POD of dolphins so near the shore that when one of them chased a sand shark through the shallows, it literally washed up at my feet! (Don’t worry, the tide took it back out a moment later). I got caught in a flock of seagulls as they lifted off en masse, bringing to mind Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. And critically: first MAN BUN sighting. I mean, pretty sure it was a man. S/he also boasted impressive MAN BOOBS.
FYI: “Walking along the beach holding hands” should qualify as an Olympic Sport, IMHO. Older couples do it best because they are generally moving slowly enough to accommodate all the bumps and irregularities of sand trekking. I’m always a bit in awe of people whose arms are the correct, compatible length for extended hand-holding anyhow. My arms are very long and my husband’s are disproportionately short, which means I have to kind of hitch my shoulder up and awkwardly bend my arm when we are standing next to each other holding hands. Then add bobbing along on an uneven terrain for any period of time…let’s just say my hand-holding days are behind me.
DAY FOUR: The beach must have sensed I was loathe to leave, because it made my final walk a tough and blustery one…heading to the pier, the wind was so strong in my face that I had to keep my head down the whole way to avoid getting sand in my eyes; this made it nearly impossible to observe anything. I did get to see a fisherman catch a small shark (he hollered, which made me look up), but other than that I was watching my blistering toes make tracks.
On the way home, however, I had the wind at my back, urging me along. Kato Kaelin* had returned, quieting any fears I may have had about scaring him. I looked at all the different shapes and sizes and colors of the bodies on the beach and wondered: how in the world did we ever agree on an “ideal” that represents virtually NO ONE? And while the “Gross Training” is definitely a trend we might want to dial back, I could see also SO MUCH BEAUTY in all those different shapes and sizes and colors.
On that last windy day, I overheard a blurb of a conversation as I trudged along; just one sentence, but it was the sentence I needed to hear: “You can always find a reason for NOT doing something.” How true that is; although there is really only one reason…FEAR. I had been feeling afraid about a lot of things, but a stranger on the beach reminded me that making excuses is chump work. As Joseph Campbell posited, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” I didn’t see any caves on the beach, but I did find a lot of treasures.
Life is like a walk on the beach…some days the wind is in your face and you keep your head down; other days the sky is so blue you feel like your heart could burst with joy. You have to keep things loose to get the most out of it; you never know what might happen or who you might meet. Nearly all of it is interesting and even when it’s sad, like the sea turtle, compassion can transform it into something holy. You will suffer blisters and injuries, but the key is to keep going in spite of them. "Arrival" is never the goal--having the experience is. If you keep your eyes and ears and heart open, you will see and hear and find exactly what you need to learn.
*not actually Kato Kailin. Just a man who very strongly resembled Kato Kailin. If you would like me to assign you a celebrity look-a-like, just let me know!!!