Yesterday, we went beach combing. Beach combing is a search for something of value. I looked for starfish. My partner looked for sea glass. I took off my sandals and walked in the warm tidal waters searching under rocks for creatures who are revealed when the tide is out. I lost myself in the world of salt, water, and life. In this world, there were no bills, no pandemic, no fires and no fears.
While I was searching for starfish, a group of young women with golden sun colored hair asked me if I was local, I responded I was not and asked them where they were from. They said "Utah". And asked me if jellyfish sting if they step on them by accident. I said "I believe they do". It was one of the few conversations I have had during this time with someone besides my partner and family. Each conversation with a stranger is precious. Every connection seems more important than the past where conversation and connection were taken for granted before the pandemic.
The young women from Utah pointed me in the direction of three starfish they found closer to the sea. Heading that direction, my partner called out that he found a half dried out starfish. I found the starfish he pointed out to me. She was clearly still alive but not in a good condition. I picked her up and found a safe tidal pool and place her on a rock submerged in the saltwater. You can see her in the picture above. She seemed to come back to life and I hope she made it.
Later, I joined my partner and searched for sea glass. Beach combing is not a hobby I intended on cultivating or even thought much about. Now. I understand why people do it. When your intention is focused on finding a treasure instead of the busyness that invades ones mind, you can find a peace beyond that crazy making that happens in the head. A deep silence permeates. Yesterday, beach combing was the longest stretch of peace I have had in a long while.
Going back to the tidal pools, while I was looking under barnacle covered rocks, I heard a big splash and turned around to see an Osprey catch a fish within three feet of me. He clutched the fish with deadly claws, grasping the fins on the fish's back almost giving the illusion of the fish still swimming in the air instead of flying to his death. The osprey flew circles around us spiraling higher and higher disappearing into the sky. The death was brutal and shocking. And fascinating at the same time.
The last few weeks being on the road have been a mixed bag of adventure, freedom, emotionally and physically demanding and soul searching. The Pandemic is creating so many shape shifting, and changing conditions, it's difficult to navigate. What direction does one take in these times? How long do we have? Where will our choices find us?
To keep myself sane which is not easy in crazy times, I focus on what is in front of me. I stay in the present moment. I try to be kind and live fully. I remember life is like sailing. There are sunny days that can quickly turn to turbulent waters.
It is all about the navigation and enjoying the sun when it is here and facing the storm until you see the light again.