Holding Sand (Revisited)

I’ve been busy today. I had some writing work to finish up and then long overdue tidying in my house to take care of. It’s difficult to even string those last couple sentences together. As I usually do when I’m trying to keep up a blog streak but too tired to focus, I’m re-posting a blog entry from my Corbin Creations blog archives. Re-reading it I feel that it rings very true for where I am in my life right now. The sand in the hourglass slipped by far too quickly today but trying to grasp it is futile, it’s happier being free to flow.

Holding Sand – 1/29/2013

I adore being on a warm beach. I’m not one to sit out in the sun all day tanning because I believe in being pale and healthy. When I’m at the beach I’m well covered in sunscreen and my toes are in the water. As cliché as it may sound, one of my favorite activities is walking along the beach. Nothing compares to strolling in the shallow waves enjoying the feel of the sand beneath my bare feet. There’s just something beautifully calming about walking on a surface that softens gently beneath me as warm water flows over my toes and ankles.

As anyone who has ever walked on a beach knows, the incoming tide will inevitably wash away all traces of footprints. When I walk in the shallow water my prints are nothing more than indents in the sand below the surface and my passage is quickly forgotten by the ocean. Sometimes I’ll stop, crouch down and pick up a handful of wet sand just to feel it in my hand. It is impossible to hold sand for very long because it falls swiftly from the grasp. Sand of the perfect dampness to create sandcastles will hold its shape for a while but as it dries it crumbles, if the waves do not destroy it first.

Sand has long been used to gauge the passage of time because it flows so swiftly and free. Trying to hold onto sand is a futile endeavor because it is not meant to be trapped. The tighter the grip on it, the faster it escapes, but if you leave your palm open and have just a small pile there, it will remain a while longer. Warm beach sand sparkles in the sunlight and is smooth to the touch and it is happiest when left where it came from. The only way to truly hold sand for any length of time is to transform it into something else. Intricate glass creations can be created when sand is heated and blown by skilled craftsmen.

There is no holding onto true, free, unaltered sand and it is best to remember this. Sometimes holding something even tighter just makes it slip away faster. By opening your palm and allowing something to be as it is you grant it freedom and sometimes in that freedom it will willingly form itself into something that you can in fact grasp. You cannot predict when certain things and people will slip from your grasp. That is a good thing because then when they choose to return as something attainable, it is a blessed and surprising gift.

Morning Walks

Right before my 5am alarm went off this morning, I was dreaming that I was walking on the beach. The sky was overcast but the water was warm and I was in it up to my knees. The feel of the churning waves rolling over my skin was divine and I could smell the salty air. I love the ocean and walking on the beach is something that brings me peace and contentment. It’s also something I don’t get to do enough but I’m working on fixing that. When I live closer to the ocean I will walk in the shallow waves as often as I can, morning, noon and night if possible. I’ll revel in the feel of the wet sand squishing beneath my toes and underfoot and collect whatever shells wash upon shore. That dream this morning is something I am determined to make a reality.

Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 2009

Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 2009

 

The lovely rolling waves in the morning.

The lovely rolling waves in the morning.

 

A seagull all tucked up on the beach

A seagull all tucked up on the beach.

Right now my reality is living in the country though so I’m making the best of that. Sunday morning Jazzmin and I headed out to the farmer’s access road for our walk. There was a light breeze but it was already becoming humid. As we neared the gate across the road, I heard church bells in the distance which must have been announcing the start of service. It was lovely how that sound carried across the hills and valleys of where I live and I felt at peace.

The morning view out over the fields.

The morning view across the field.

I’d been smart enough to wear my hiking boots this time and I’d placed the Dr. Scholl’s active series insoles inside them. Those insoles really do work by the way and I recommend them to anyone suffering from shin splints, foot pain or back aches during or after their walk. The walk down that road was uneventful with only the red-winged blackbirds and some chickadees serenading us. As we neared the end of the straight part of the road I saw a squirrel perched atop a large boulder. Jazz didn’t see it and it quickly ran away but she smelled it as soon as we reached that boulder and had to investigate.

Large boulder minus squirrel.

Large boulder minus squirrel.

 

Jazz looking across the boulder.

Jazz looking across the boulder.

 

Jazz searching for the squirrel

Jazz searching for the squirrel.

I stood on the part of the road that opens out onto four different fields and took several pictures of the wash out and brush clearing. For some reason that section reminded me of a desolate post-war wasteland despite the un-endings songs of the birds and the butterflies flying by.

Washed out earth.

Washed out earth.

 

Cleared out brush and trees.

Cleared out brush and trees.

I took a panoramic video of the area as Jazz sniffed around and then I decided to head back. Barely five minutes after we started walking back, the church bells sounded again marking the end of service.

Morning view of the hills and valleys.

Morning view of the hills and valleys.

 

Some lovely purple flowers I saw on the way back.

Some lovely purple flowers I saw on the way back.

I felt very calm and at ease as we walked back toward home. Starting my day like that out among nature and the songs of birds brought me serenity. That access road isn’t a true nature trail or even that secluded, but to me it felt like I was in another world. Perhaps it’s just my overactive imagination that causes that or maybe it’s my learned ability to appreciate all the nuances of life. Whatever the reason, I look forward to further morning walks in the country and anticipate deeper contentment when I stroll among the ocean waves.