The Beach Walk Portal

Beach walks, I find, are a source of relaxation and renewal; but, more than that, they provide material for deeper reflection.

I watch the ebb and flow of the tide, the ceaseless pounding of the surf against the strand; I gaze out to the horizon, stretching into an infinity of blue, sometimes edged with gathering clouds, or trails of lacy mist. This is the macrocosm of my world, the larger dimension of Nature’s rhythm.

I walk along the firm-packed sand at the water’s edge, hunting for pebbles to add to my collection, and among these tiny gems I find the vestiges of once-living creatures, all surrendered to the endless rhythm of life, death, life. This is the microcosm.

Beauty mingles with mortality

Kelp, uprooted by the stormy seas, litters the high tide mark,

holdfast tentacles exposed to the sky.

becoming the haunt of tiny ghost crabs as they forage for food

Nearby, I find sponges, wrenched from the ocean floor by the tempest.

Shells lie bleached among the pebbles, empty of their former occupants

and beached jellyfish, like the giant in this photograph, lie half-submerged by the shifting sands.

The tide creates random assemblages, arranging stones and kelp, sponges and seaweed and shells, with careless artistry.

I contemplate the ephemeral nature of life, as I pace the shoreline, delighting in the warm current lapping at my ankles, and the freshness of the onshore breeze. This is not a melancholy thought; indeed, it intensifies the pleasures of the moment.

Time passes swiftly, but if we simply observe its passage, allowing it to flow like water through our hands, we remain unmoved in our centre, and the world appears both intensely real and vaguely unreal, a product of our consciousness and the miracle of life.

So beware, all who walk in solitude upon a beach. You might just find the portal to the secrets of existence….


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