Sep 25, 2014

The Rushing Of The Tide

Earlier this week I spent the afternoon at the beach. It was a spur of the moment trip and I didn’t bother to check the tide schedule so I was a little disappointed to arrive at low tide and find a view of rocks and seaweed instead of the waves I love so much.  But, it was warm and sunny and that’s all I really need.

I settled into the sand and promptly whipped out my phone.  I checked my email, browsed Facebook, looked at Pinterest, texted with some friends, mastered a few levels of Cookie Jam and sent some Sims to work (yeah, I desperately need some new games… got any suggestions.)

Nearly two hours later I looked up to find my surroundings dramatically changed.  The tide had started to come in.  Gone were the rocks and piles of kelp, replaced by rushing waves, wet sand, surfers and children filling pails.  

Occasionally I go to the beach to write, to work and to let the salt air and sea sounds be background noise.  This wasn’t one of those trips.  This was an afternoon off, full of possibility and ready to fill with adventure and the beauty around me.  Instead, I was acting like I was passing time in the waiting room of a dentist’s office.  I let distractions take me out of the moment.  I was so absent that I lost what was going on around me.

Sadly it’s not the only time.  I’ve found myself missing out on moments so often lately.  The hubby and I recently went on a hike along the shoreline.  As we crossed nearly a mile of rocky beach, I looked straight down, concentrating on every footfall.  I missed birds soaring overhead, I missed the tide pools and I missed the rare opportunity for uninterrupted conversation with my husband.  In fact, I almost missed a sea cave.  We stopped for a quick break, noticed another group squeeze into a narrow crevice and decided to follow them in.  Within a few feet the crevice opened up to a large cave.  If we hadn’t stopped for that break, I would have continued to focus on my footsteps and missed an opportunity to explore a sea cave only accessible at the lowest of tides.  

I want to be present in my life.  While I am distracted by the smallest of tasks, the tide is coming in and opportunities to connect with people are passing by.  

I don’t know all the answers.  I do know that the answer isn’t setting aside the technology that sometimes provides distractions.  My phone, my computer, my tablet, all those screens are tools that help me accomplish all the things.  

I think the answer has more to do with choices. I have the choice to look up and to see the big picture.  I need to choose to take and create opportunities to connect with people and with the world around me. I need to choose when to use the tools of technology and when to set it aside.  I need to choose to be present in the moment, because I don’t want to miss the rushing of the tide.  

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