Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty - Day 18

Depending upon the time of day,
walking at Butterfly Beach
can be a very different experience.
And this is what it looked like just three days ago.
The beach was wide,
with lots of sand for walking,
or digging,
or lazing around.
And some rocky shoals, which are hardly ever visible,
were eagerly explored by young beach-goers.
There is something soul-expanding about seeing
that much level beach --
an invitation to come on down,
breathe deeply,
get your toes wet.
Today looked decidedly different.
There was no beach,
not an inch of sand that could be walked upon with confidence.
No space for sitting,
the water pounded right up to the wall,
stunning in its proximity and power.

The weather was similar --
warm, sunny, clear. 

The long-range view was basically
the same -- islands in the distance,
oil derricks a little further in,
the curving peninsula of the mainland
visible toward the southeast.

But it felt profoundly different. 

A shift in time,
a moody pull of the moon,
a portent of stormy weather ahead?
I do not know how the tides shift.
I just know that they do.

And that makes all the difference.
High and low each have beauties of their own --
an invitation and a warning,
a welcome and a reminder. 

Life is a little like that, I think.
Some days, all looks level.
Others, there is no sure footing to be found. 
Nothing else has shifted,
the ingredients are the same basic mix --
but some days feel like invitation,
and others feel like warning.

I love them both.
The allure of a wide beach is 
wonderful and warm;
the power of a surging surf is
heart-stopping and thrilling.

I think you have to experience
both to fully appreciate each
Because we need both kinds of tides.
And we need both kinds of days,
both kinds of living:
resting on the sand and 
enjoying the view for a while
and standing with arms wide
and hearts open to
receive the beautiful,
sometimes terrifying power 
of life itself.