Originally published September 13, 2015
It has been months since I made it to the beaches a bare 30 miles from my front door. This weekend I had incentive. One of my “hospice friends,” who has become a very dear post-hospice friend, was visiting. She, her granddaughter, and husband were staying in Westport for a few days and, yes, she would love to see my new home. Hubby was crabbing and on his own adventure. We “girls” had the afternoon to ourselves. What more enticement could I need?
Catching the tail end of lunch, I arrived in time to go see the lighthouse. How a not-quite 3-year-old had managed to get this visit well seated in her mind is hard to say but this is one bright cookie. After spending the day with her and Oma, I quite understand. Everything is a door to learning. Absolutely everything. And once you begin to interpret the strange language of a 3-year-old chatterbox, the responding questions are also quite interesting. Oma never missed a beat to show, to teach, to open doors in a very young mind.
Sadly, we could not climb the 135 steps to the top of the lighthouse. One must be 40 inches tall and over 5 years old. One of our party did not qualify. (Secretly, I would have been better off not knowing about 135 steps until after I got back down). But we still had fun and managed to get our Discover Pass marked up for the vehicle we were driving. Next stop, the beach. While Oma and her granddaughter focused on sand castles, I took a long, long leisurely walk in the surf—no footwear required.
For those of us that did not grow up on the beach, the incoming tide is something you must adjust to. Having the moving water swirl around you, and the sand beneath your feet “dissolve,” can upset your equilibrium a bit until you adjust. I tend to want to list to the right a bit. But, once you have your “surf legs,” letting the tide come and go around you, sharing the heartbeat of the globe, can be one of the most relaxing experiences this world of ours has to offer. I think it is like dancing standing still. And I never dance with my shoes on.
Some of the “smile moments” from my afternoon.
Waves. We have learned so much in the past several centuries about the mathematics of waves. How they come to be, move, change, fade away only to be replaced with other waves, some less complex than others, but never simple. I think that to understand consciousness, individuality, “me-ness,” we will first need to understand waves wherever they appear and in whatever form they take.
Sometimes surfing requires a helping hand, a veteran, to lead the way. Sometimes you’ve learned enough to test the waves on your own.
Life is an adventure. The greatest and perhaps hardest lesson to learn is to approach it with the joy, wonder, and determination of a child, and the wisdom of age and experience.