Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Life lessons learned at the beach: Walking in the Water

While we were at the beach this year the surf was rough.  Last year we had some days that were overly calm, but this year we had some days where the faint of heart (or the injured of leg) stayed in the shallows or on the sand.  The rougher waves also meant that the water was always brown and churned up, never clear.

Due the the rough surf and some other weather conditions we knew that there was a higher chance than normal of rip currents.  The first evening we experienced strong currents about 6 houses down from Big Bertha, and so we resolved to always get out before we had drifted down that far.  Some days the eastward pull wasn't that strong and we could play in the waves for a long time before we had to reposition ourselves.  But other days there was a strong pull to the east and in what seemed like no time at all we'd need to ride a wave in and walk back up the beach to the 3rd or 4th house past Big Bertha.

Sometimes I'd go all the way out of the water and walk, but sometimes I'd start walking up the beach while I was still in the shallow water.  Invariably I felt a little off balance when I walked in the water--not only is the sand not level there in the shallows, the level changes are frequent and significant.  One step goes down a foot and then the next only six inches.  Or you might take 3 steps in a deeper area and then be up almost a foot higher.

One day as I was lurching through the shallow water on my way back to the place that was the designated "go back into the waves" place I had the thought that this shallow area was a lot like life.  So many times I'm going along in life and all looks smooth ahead, and then wham, I hit a pothole that isn't visible and am in it up to my knees.  So many times things look even on the surface but underneath they're completely and rapidly uneven and I lurch back and forth.  Sometimes in life I get in a hurry and don't walk all of the way out of one situation (the water) before I start moving forward again, even though is so much more work that way. This summer I reminded myself over and over again that this part of the ocean floor is just that way, and I think I need to remember that sometimes life is just that way too...

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