Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Shoreline Story

There are places that you go in life that stay with you wherever you go.    Maybe it was the first time you went to the zoo, or the first time that you saw an overlook from a mountain view.     For me, ever since I was a little girl, my favorite place to go has always been the beach.   I love it in the winter, spring, summer and fall.   I don't have to have a reason to go.   I just love to be there.

Randy's parents have a place down at the beach, (I know you hate me now) and we got to go down this past weekend.   At first, I wondered if it would be worth the trip down - the work it takes to get down there, the time it takes to clean up and come back home, and all the in between.   But then, once I'm there, it's like coming home.   It welcomes me back, and I bask in the joy of feeling restored.

I've always found such peace strolling the shore, looking for seashells and animal life.   I love shell searching in the winter time because you can always find so much more than in the summer, when everyone is looking for those hidden treasures.   And, similar to bargain hunting, if you look long enough, and thoroughly enough, you're bound to find something.    This weekend was no different.   I found a little starfish, struggling to get back to the water, and after having show and tell with the kids, Randy gently tossed him back home.   I started down the shoreline looking for other shells and I knew it was calling me.  

As I walked down the shoreline that seemed to have no end, each step drew me a little farther.  Farther from my husband and children digging a sand castle, but closer to each new shell that was like gold in my hands.    I continued to walk on finding new treasures in each step, but never losing sight of my family, until they were little specks on the shore.    As much as I loved being able to find new shells, I wanted to return.   To hear their voices, to see what things they were exploring, and to be a part of their story that day.

Sometimes, I think that it's easy to feel a longing for the beyond.   A longing for what's just beyond that hill, or for the time when "that" finally happens.    But the thing is, that hill never comes.   The shoreline could have no end of new shells, and the thing that you're waiting to happen, is always just out of reach.     It isn't about finally finding the thing that gives you joy, the true joy is found right where you are.   Choosing to stay in the moment of now allows you to see the beauty of where you are.    The beauty of now.

So, I turned back toward my family, and walked slowly back down the shore, hands filled with treasures to share.


Kari said...

Very nice.

emily said...

Love this post. I'm so glad you got to go.

Suzanne said...

beautifully written Melissa. I'm glad that you all got to go. I love the beach in the winter. :)

Karen P said...

How did you keep your kids out of the water? Mine would have wanted to dive in. Of course, that's why I love them! They treasure the here and now and don't worry about what's next. Ah, to be a kid again!

Now I want to go to the beach!