Beach Lessons

As I’ve mentioned before in some of my older posts (most specifically Picking Rocks), I learn a lot of lessons living on the beach.  I’ve been pondering many of them lately, and thought I would share a few.

First off, I’ve learned that the beach is always changing.  For one thing, the tide changes by nearly an hour every day.  So if you are a beach walker, you learn to plan your day by the tide chart.  Also, depending on the moon phase, the tide can vary greatly in the contrast between high and low.  There is an interesting, ever-changing rhythm to the ocean and, for better or worse, you have to learn to flow with it.

Sadly, a negative change that I’ve also noticed is beach erosion. This is due to several things and although there is a natural give and take that occurs between the ocean and the beach sand, unfortunately there has been increasingly more take than give, because trucks come to take sand from the beach for building projects.  Without going into all the obvious reasons this is bad for the beach and the future buildings, it has been amazingly sad for me to see just how much less beach there is than when I arrived two years ago.  It reminds me of the damage that can occur from a life the includes more take than give.

But a positive observation I’ve made lately comes thanks to one of my newer friends, Sigrid.  Another interesting thing about the beach is to see how different people gravitate to different things and early on in our meeting, Sigrid told me she liked to collect sea glass.  “Where in the world do you find it?” I asked, remarking that I rarely ever see any.  She then began to share with me what someone else taught her, when searching for sharks teeth on a beach that was well known to have them.  The gist of it is, it is all in how you focus on what you are looking at.  And do you know after that time, I found sea glass every day!  But what was even more interesting was that I noticed when I was consciously looking for it, I still rarely found any.  But when I was walking along lost in thought or prayer, there it would be, right in my path!  It is still not something I care to collect for myself, but ever since she told me, I can’t help pick it up for Sigrid if I see it.  She went back for a stateside visit for the month of October, and it was amazing that finding just a few pieces each time I went to the beach (which was not even every day) yielded a whole zip lock bag full for her when she returned!

Sigrid's one month yield of sea glass

Sigrid’s one month yield of sea glass

This all reminds me that when I am working hard to find something in life, I usually spend a lot of time and energy with little to no results.  But when I just go about my way, with my focus on God, the very things I’m looking for end up placed right in my path.  And it also reminds me that I used to think there was no beach glass because I only saw an occasional piece here or there.  But what I discovered (again), was that even when you do something “poco a poco” (little by little), one day you will look up and see big results.

So I have learned lots of lessons lately from my life on the beach, and I have no doubt those lessons will continue as long as I am here and am willing to keep learning.

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