Being Fully Present in my Place of Peace
The beach has a way of showing you all the right things. The quiet inside of you. The noise inside of you. The joys of the world around you. The peace that’s within you too. Have you ever noticed?
The waves can be so loud that they can drown out all the voices except those closest in proximity to your immediate surroundings. It’s at the beach that I can find my quiet just enough to also hear what is still loud inside of me. Sometimes that is an area of peace and sometimes it’s the thing that’s been nagging at me that I need to figure out. Sitting in front of the ocean allows me to still the noise inside just enough to hear my most important thoughts and at the same time brings me a peace that allows me to surrender to it without thinking. It’s so fascinating.
I can sit here and look around and see the children play in ways that we forgot how to along the way. I can see adults escaping their everyday lives and play like children. I see people reading, connecting with themselves or enjoying a world that lets them escape. I see people conversing with one another instead of being on their phones. I see strangers taking pictures for other strangers. I see happy dogs. I see happy dog owners. I see my son throwing a football for hours because as a teenager life should include carefree moments like this. I see him never tire of the joy of chasing waves because life should include play time. I see myself, worry free and surrendering to the peace the beach always brings.
Summer Break 2022 at North Myrtle Beach
I see children running toward the water and I see myself in them, running desperately to lose myself in the sounds that drown everything else out. Running toward the vast water that reminds me exactly how small I really am in this big universe. I pretend I am them, running so I can let the water push and pull me in a way that just lets me surrender to its direction.
I do none of that running because being in that big body of water, where I cannot see the bottom and cannot control what touches me is not my place of peace. It’s a big source of anxiety. Sitting right here, just at the edge, where I can look around and see all and take it in, both land and sea, where my legs are solid on the ground - that is my place of peace.
We had an opportunity to watch a never before seen meteor shower called Tau Herculids. It had a 50/50 shot of actually being visible and if it did, it’d start at 1am. There was an appeal to it because it could have 400-1,000 meteors per hour! So, since we were on vacation and the teens usually stay up late anyway, I figured why not. So at about twenty minutes to one, I downloaded a star guide app and we headed down to the sand. I pointed the phone up to the sky - THANK YOU technology - and we laid down on the sand and let our eyes adjust. I soaked that moment in. Here I was, late at night, with my sixteen year old, laying in the sand with the sound of the waves next to us and looking up at the stars in the sky. Just waiting. Caleb says his least favorite thing about the beach is the sand. I mean, can you blame him?! But here he lay, next to his mom, watching for shooting stars. Finally we saw one. We didn’t see 400, instead maybe only half a dozen. I can’t say how much of that my son will forever remember, but I certainly hope I remember it all. That’s why I breathe these words here. To imprint them on my memory as I hope that it sits with him, somewhere within, to call on it when he is older.
How important it is to just be present in these experiences. Soak them in. Cherish them. Make more time for them. Create more space on the calendar for them. This is what life is. Fully present and at peace.
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