Archives for the month of: November, 2012

Glendalough Castle in Ireland. Obviously not the beach, but a place of adventure, and another inspiring  location where the air vibrated with fecund expectancy.

First thing this morning, as is my wont, I donned warm clothes and sturdy shoes, and, urging my trusty hound into the back seat, jumped into my CRV and headed for the beach.  I went there expecting the same wonderful experience I always receive — unique every morning, but always a gift to the soul and senses.

But today was different.

Today, after Maz and I traversed the short path onto the sands, we emerged onto a landscape tinged with fog, the icy blue of the still water blending into the serene sky with nary a division seen.  All was calm and peace, the only sound the gentlest lapping of water on shore.  I looked up and down the expanse of beach.  We were alone, yet the air was pregnant with imminent possibility.  The very sand seemed to be waiting in hushed expectation.

I felt as if we’d stepped through the back of the wardrobe into an undiscovered country, where something awe-inspiring was about to take place.

A glorious feeling to carry into the day.

Any lover of comedy will tell you that it’s just when you’re feeling puffed up and special that the proverbial cream pie lands smack on your kisser.

This is not a scenario which improves with age.

A couple of years ago, I came across a story on Oprah’s website which told of four women heading towards a big social event with Ms. Winfrey, possibly in conjunction with Maya Angelou.  The friends were all of a certain age, but they had donned tight fitting jeans and bright lipstick, and felt like funky mamas as they sped down the highway in a jazzy red convertible.  Unfortunately, their esprit de corps gave the driver a bit of a lead foot, and before long, they were startled to behold flashing lights in their rear view mirror.  Still, the anticipation of a little ‘bad ass’ action only added to their feeling of jollity when a young and handsome policeman got out of his cruiser and approached their sporty vehicle .

But their bubble of confidence soon burst when the officer, upon seeing their white hair, addressed them with all the respect due to dotage, and bade them on their way at a safer speed, and with no ticket.

Apparently, the women sighed wistfully, they were not the funky babes they had thought.  Or, at least, not to anyone but themselves.

Wednesday, after a particularly stressful day, I visited my local grocery store to pick up a few necessities and was served by a very youthful cashier.  Upon checking my bill when I got home, I found that, without any request on my part, I had been given a senior’s discount.

Ah well, I reasoned, the term ‘senior’ can mean many things.  After all, some organizations call you a senior when you hit the big Five-Oh!

So tonight, when back at that store, I asked one of the more mature cashiers what constituted a ‘senior’ at their establishment.  “65,” she replied without batting an eye.

65!

I am 54.

I know I was having a rough day … but sheesh!

However, after pondering this outrage a short while, I came to see that it might well have been the universe teaching me a collection of valuable lessons:

• Age is just a number.

• Getting older is merely an experience like any other, and not something shameful.

• Your worth as a human being is not dependent upon chestnut hair, smooth skin and a youthful glow.

I am grateful for these lessons.  I’m so grateful that I may never go back to that store again.  Hey, once you’ve learned a lesson, you move on to the next exercise in the book and leave the old one behind.

So I’m off to find another grocers … one staffed entirely by octogenerians.  After all, given the right circumstances, it’s not too late for me to be the young kid on the block!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is very little doubt in my mind that one of the greatest sources of joy in my life at the moment is Long Point Beach.  Every morning at around 7, I can be found alternately strolling or striding along its shore, accompanied by my faithful hound Maz.  I come for the scenery, Maz prefers the dead fish.  End result:  sheer happiness for both.
This morning, while driving along the causeway leading to the beach, I was startled to see a huge swarm of small black birds filling the sky above me.  From the point just above my head to one above hte marsh far in the distance, thousands of these feathered friends were beginning their exodus to warmer climes, their wings pumping madly in the chill of the morning sky.  There was no mid-air ballet today, no time for any such frivolity.  They had somewhere to go, and there were getting to it.

But the experience of all of those small bodies, those pulsating wings, dominating the heavens made me stop my car in the middle of the road and gaze upward in abject awe.

The driving force of thousands of palpitating hearts, all beating as one, created a moving mosaic of black wing against the light grey morning sky, and I was mesmerized.  But more than that.  For a few fleeting moments, I was a part of it, almost present there with them in the heavens, wings beating, core pounding, spirit lifting up and away into the promise of bluer skies, balmier breezes and tasty caterpillars only just contemplating the cocoon.

I drive that causeway almost every daybreak, and usually I give thanks for the simple beauty of the natural landscape.  But this morning … this morning was a moment of wonder in an ordinary day, and it felt like a miracle.

Tomorrow, I’ll once again rise at dawn to make the same pre-breakfast trek on those enervating sands.  Will there be another miracle?  Is there a miracle every single day, if I open myself to it?
I think there may be.  And I will be watching.