Thursday, December 4, 2014

Must we shop till we drop?

Something about the carefree freedom found on the beach appeals to me. Pulls me out of my adult world and takes me back to my childhood. Sand castles, wave dodging, wind pulling at my hair. Collecting shiny rocks, grit between my toes, breathing in fresh air.

No matter what my age, each time I visit the beach, I return to age ten, giddy and carefree as gaze out into the blue expanse, looking for land to appear on the other side but really seeing myself and my place in the interconnected web of life mirrored back at me on the hazy horizon. Tapping into the great mystery that pulls at me whenever the immensity of the natural world makes me feel so very insignificant. Connecting me to something much greater than I.

This letting so of adult pretenses allows me to return to a child like sense of wonder, drawing me back to a place of being present in the moment without distraction. Feeling, sensing, tasting, breathing. Not wishing for tomorrow or thinking about yesterday but just simply enjoying the sun upon my face as I marvel at the shoreline extending off into the distance.

Unfortunately, just recently, I was not able to tap into these feel good feelings of childhood wonder when I found myself on the beach on a mild November day a few weeks ago. Distracted as I was by the fact that the beach parking lot was completely empty as we pulled into it while the shopping mall lots we had passed on the way were packed full of cars. Why, on such a beautiful day, was everyone shopping rather than beach combing? Or beach being? Missing out on the peace found in a sand and water soaked landscape. Why were so many choosing to shop rather than basking in the beauty of the natural world? Why?

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