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.