Sometimes it is easy to sit still and the mind is seduced into quiet by the environment surrounding it, an expanse of sky blue and clear, the sound of waves touching the shore and a pristine beach still untouched by sunbathers with beach chairs, lotions and paraphernalia. Now is one of those times.
Normally I begin the day walking the dog with my husband along the beach but, the first day of our vacation, I have sprained my foot and it has stilled me. We usually walk slowly along the shore down to split rock. It is approximately a two mile round trip, the thought of which keeps me smiling all winter. Not only is it beautiful, but I get to talk to friends that I haven’t seen in a year and scout out “perfect stones” to slip into my pocket and deposit in my home rock garden. It’s a ritual. We find a stick along the way, look around for a spot not too rocky and give it a throw. The dog never seems to tire of following it with his eyes and plunging into the sea to retrieve it. He then drops it at our feet, pants and waits for us to do it again. In this way we move along the shore until we arrive at Split Rock, a large boulder that ocean, wind and sand have cleaved almost in two. The crack in its middle marking time and change widening through the seasons. At high tide a friend accompanying us wades through the water to touch it for good luck–her ritual. Still here, I think, but like us showing the effects of weather and age.
Today I sit at the entrance to the beach able to see the boulder only from a distance. Like it I am affected by time and circumstance. My sprain is minor but a painful reminder of vulnerability. With support I can walk, carefully placing my foot and gingerly shifting my weight using a cane for balancing. I am humbled and grateful I am alive knowing this shall pass, as does everything. In the meantime, I marvel at nature and like the tides, am a part of its flow.