Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beach Combers

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "Mysterious Ways," #5 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I didn't make it to the beach all of last year; it's sort of like wherever you live, you take it for granted that you can go to the places near you which attract tourists any day of the year, so you never end up going to them.

But what never changes is the Ocean, and when you are standing on it's shore, it has a roar that sounds like peace and consistency, and will lull you to sleep if you stop to lay down and close your eyes. Meanwhile, it deposits secret clues of all that lies hidden within it on the shore. So today, Natalie and I got as close to the water as we could without actually going in, to look for treasures or any secret clues that might have been left there.

Over the years, I have gotten choosey of what I will pick up and put in my treasure bucket. My children are much less judicious; they'll pick up whatever rock or broken sea shell they find, and they are quick to marvel at the beauty of each one. I want to call out "don't just pick up any old rock, your bucket will get heavy." But I am quiet; there is no such thing as "just any old rock" to them. When Natalie's bucket got too full, she did something that hadn't occurred to me; she simply dumped it out, and put back in anything that she wanted to keep. This, I think, is not a bad way to live one's life.

I could have continued combing the beach for hours; I hate the thought of just barely missing something that may be right in front of me; but Natalie is 4 years old. When she got tired, she said "Mommy, I'm tired," and "will you carry me?" So I put down the rock I had been examining and picked her up instead. She laid her head on my shoulder and I walked away from the shore. In my arms lay a mystery of oceanic proportions with her own secret clues yet to be uncovered. But this treasure did not emerge from any ocean; she emerged from the sea of me, deposited upon my shore with her own secret humming, and I need not understand her roaring or her lullaby; I just need to keep listening.


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