Lessons from the Shore

1 06 2012

The tide is coming in, rippling across the sandbars, as I walk across the hot sand and unload my paraphernalia. Within seconds I am settled and relaxing my muscles. Being at the shore always feels like coming home.

My eyes take in the expansive horizon, interrupted by an off-shore island. I hear osprey keening as they fish and feel their exhilaration when they snag a fish and fly off to their nestlings.

I finger the sand, letting it run through my fingers. I notice its perfect grains are interspersed with slipper shells, broken bits of phragmites, dried seaweed, and small stones. The sand is, just as we all are, pocked with distinctive imperfections that make it unique.

A group of boys nearby shout as they dig deeper and deeper in the sand, looking for China. They rough-house, they play ball, they swim, and they go home, as the afternoon passes. Their legacy in the sand will be washed away by the incoming tide, grains of sand filling in, washing away, back and forth, reminding us of the impermanence of all.