I can’t help it. The older I get, the more lessons I see in just about everything, and this past Friday’s adventure at the beach with Carrie and her children was no exception. In fact, in a relatively short period of time, I was reminded of a host of things. Here goes.
It was a 35 mile trip from Lib’s house to the strand, and on our way we rode in and out of sunshine. Carrie expressed concern over the overcast skies, but I reminded her of how things could be sunny on the beach and raining like crazy a couple of blocks away. We found a parking place at 50th Avenue, and it was lovely. As we got out of the car and began unloading our stuff (chairs, towels, bags, children) to walk down to the beach, I couldn’t help but notice how lovely the sea oats and other greenery were. They framed the scene so nicely for us that I made the three older Maseda kids pose for me (see above).
Within minutes, we were basking in the sun and getting our feet wet in the warm water. Carrie was snapping pictures right and left, and all was grand. Then suddenly, Carrie said, “It’s raining.” I turned around to see her gathering up our things, and about that time the sky fell in…or so it seemed. Blinding sheets of rain pelted us, and wherever I looked, I saw people walking, heads down, as fast as they could towards shelter. Then the wind picked up, and sand stung our legs.
Truly, of all of my decades of coming to the beach, I’ve never experienced such a deluge of rain and windborne sand. It was actually a little disconcerting, especially when I saw Emma and Brooke screaming as they tried to wrap their towels around their tiny bodies. Around and around, they spun. Braden didn’t look too happy either, but he had managed to get his towel around him, thus protecting his skin from the stinging sand and pelting rain. I had the baby in my arms, and all I could see were his blue, blue eyes searching my face as if to ask, “What’s going on?” Carrie got the truly necessary items, and we left the chairs behind. Once in the car, the children enjoyed their Fruit Snacks, and Colton and I shared a banana while Carrie closely monitored the weather. Within five minutes, it was over. Seriously, the rain and wind ceased completely, and the sun popped out. The sky was a beautiful Carolina blue with only a few white clouds in the sky.
Again, we trudged down to the strand and got set up again. What followed was a delightful afternoon of sun and fun. Among my favorite memories are Braden and Emma frolicking in the surf. Brooke was more cautious and stayed along the edge of the water. She spent much of her time searching for sea shells, and I’m hoping that she and her mom will make me a picture frame with the tiny shells that we collected. Emma was the daredevil, and once when she tromped out behind Braden and wouldn’t stop no matter how loudly I yelled, the strong surf knocked her down. I tried to pick her up while holding on to Carrie’s camera, but again she fell. The current was just too strong. Unfortunately, the camera got wet, but I was able to pull Emma out of the surf. Undaunted, she continued to play in the ocean. Colton, the happiest baby in the world, slept through much of the afternoon. I took him for a long, slow (he’s heavy) walk, and as I’d look down at his sleeping face, I couldn’t help but remember my own babies and how walking them always seemed to lull them to sleep.
So what are the lessons I was reminded of? The primary one is that storms always pass; that’s nature’s way. This is true for “real life” too. The sun always comes out again, and sometimes when it comes out again, the brightness of it is even better than before. Sometimes in life our trials last much longer, but they always pass, and at some point in time, you’ll see a ray of sun shining through. Even if it’s just a tiny ray, it can give you hope.
Another lesson learned is that we need to travel lightly. People count. So do provisions. We had to get the children to safety, and we left the things that didn’t matter so much behind.
While we were sitting in the car waiting it out, I thought of how nice it was to have a little refreshment to tide us over. It gave the children something to do and took their minds off of the storm for a few moments.
A final lesson is that while you’re waiting out the storm, it’s nice if you have people with you who are positive. Who wants a naysayer awfulizing about something? Carrie and I kept each other’s spirits up by reminding each other of how quickly these storms can come and go.
This is the longest blog post I’ve written in a while, and believe it or not, there’s plenty more I could add. I won’t, however. I’ll just wait and see if anyone comments on any of the experiences you’ve had with storms or about the value of positive people, refreshments, or material things (?) when the going gets rough.
4 thoughts on “Beach Lessons”
You write so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your lessons.
Ah, you're so sweet to say that. Another lesson I was reminded of is how quickly time passes. It literally seems like last week when I was on the beach with my own children, and now I'm there with my grandchildren.
I am a very independent person and like to be able to do things on my own, but there is something to be said for interdependence and community. There are just some burdens that are meant to be shared, to be carried by more than one person. Like when a loved one dies.
Anyway, I think this is a beautiful memory and you’d be surprised at how kids remember the strangest things. (I have this one vivid memory of my grandfather and a bowl of grapes, but it is the only one I have.)
What was going on in the memory? Were you sharing the grapes? I'm not being nosy. It's just that I think it's significant that you remember this particular scene vividly and have no recollection of others.
Jayne for a minute there I thought I was back at the beach and the wind, sand and water were stinging my skin! There are so many things I could comment on here…I just loved this post and time does fly…it was just yesterday my kids were in the surf and now I chase the grand darlings around 🙂
I was thinking of how the beach is always the same. Today it's just like it was 20, 40, 100 years ago. We're the ones who are different.
your story reminded me of a conversation I had with my Mom about storms. When I was about 8 or 9 years old or so we were at a dance recital and a very bad storm came up (with tornado warnings and all) and everyone went to a crowded hall to wait it out. Most of the other children my age were scared and crying. I just thought it was an exciting adventure! When I talked to my Mom about it later she told me that when we were very little she took my 2 older sisters and I outside and showed us the lightning and talked about how pretty it was so that we wouldn’t be afraid. My Mom had a life filled with many storms, but she always kept her chin up and perservered. I think she taught me alot about both kinds of storms.
I love that you can see all of these lessons in nature. I often think of your "sparrow" prayer and the snow in Salt Lake.