My feet hit the wet sand. Balance tentative, I still try to move forward. The whirling ocean waves greet my ears. I start paying attention. There are two little girls practicing cartwheels in the sand. Her yellow bathing suit signals birds nearby as she successfully lands on two feet. Her sister, I presume, isn’t as lucky. As I pass by them, she says, “I will try again! I know I will get it this time.”
I feel the heat of the sun pouring golden coins as I looked up into the blue sky. In the corner of my eye, I see a man with a gray Denver shirt juggling three ping-pong balls. He drops one as I edge the corner of my run, but I still catch a small little smile on his face. On the opposite corner, there is a man and his kids blowing huge bubbles in the sky. The iradescent surface offers multiple rainbows. The kids are screaming. “Look at the rainbows Daddy. There are so many! How does that happen?” Their exuberance and innocence prompted me to pause and lean into their version of life.
As I finished my run, I noticed the couple sitting on their patio sipping a mango colored drink. Near the ocean, one woman used a inflatable inner tube as a pillow while her daughter read a book. I saw a sandcastle, complete with stairs, a tower, and an archway. The taste of sand and water, the smell of saltwater taffy and wisps of coffee, and the voices of little girls who almost always sounded like my daughter overwhelmed me for a few seconds.
I didn’t know how to take it all in. My first ever run near the beach opened my eyes. I am guilty of focusing so much on the shadows of sadness that sometimes I forget.
The threads of life. In the man juggling, the woman reading, the father blowing bubbles for his kids, and myself, running on the beach with the sounds of Coldplay guiding my cadence.
Image by Janine Curry
This is a lovely mosaic, Rudri. I don’t run anymore but I love the various scenes a nice long walk takes me through.
Everytime we venture outside, we are able to lean in to somebody else’s world. Many times as this happens I learn new things about myself.
You really make me homesick for the beach here. And homesick for those times I’ve taken the time to stop and observe the little clues of life around me. Thank you.
The beach is magnificent and I’ve always wanted to run and observe. I am so grateful for the opportunity. Glad my words resonated with you.
This morning I saw a lady with her little dog watching 2 squirrels and several birds sharing the seeds she had strewn on her driveway. I apologized as my dog and I disturbed the scene, but she just had a big smile on her face and waved. I turned back to look and the birds were settling again to finish their feast. I try every morning to find something new or special or just delightfully ordinary as we walk. The streets are often the same, but the moments of joy are sometimes in unexpected places.
Pam: I agree. We all need to pay more attention to these ordinary graces. Sometimes these observations can completely shift our day in a different direction. Thanks for your comment.
I love the image of the little girl in her sunshiney bathing suit. Simple, beautiful things are everywhere, aren’t they? It’s remembering to look that’s the hard part!
They are everywhere and I am so glad I got to experience ordinary goodness on the beach. It was nice to take in the beach with fresh eyes.
Thanks for taking us along on your run! Every image is so vivid. All of the the senses awaken and come to life as I read along. Sometimes your prose is sheer poetry. 🙂
Thanks so much for the generous compliment. These images were so striking I felt compelled to write about them. The beach provides ample opportunity for the senses to soak everything in.
I love coming along with you on your run…I love the outdoors too. The ocean always brings me peace. xo
There is a definite soothing quality to water. The blue always has a calming effect on me.
I guess there’s a good reason why people are so dedicated to running on or near the beach! It does make you feel connected to nature and to life.
It certainly does. Even though I am miles away from the beach I can still feel my runner’s high. It’s a great feeling. Thanks for reading and commenting.
I live by the beach and while I always think the view is breathtaking, I find myself oftentimes with my head looking down at my phone, my mind elsewhere. This post reminds me to look up and around. Like really look and appreciate the laughter, the love and the life all around me. Thank you for this, Rudri.
Justine: The beach is a novelty for my family. We make it out there maybe 2 or 3 times a year and everytime we sit on the beach I notice something new. I probably miss these things in my regular environment simply because I take it for granted. Grateful that my words inspired you to really soak in your surroundings next time you are at the beach.
You described it so beautifully that I want to be there. I can smell the ocean. God is in the details.
Thanks for your generous comment. I agree. The details – that’s sometimes where the most grace resides. I am glad my words resonated with you.
What a beautiful tale of a simply morning run and a reminder to appreciate the little things.
Tiffany: It is in the simple activities that the most beauty exists. I love observing my surroundings while I run.