Navigating Debris


This morning’s walk along the beach was not entirely pleasant.

The walk began as usual; I parked my outside shoes next to a tree stump, expecting to feel the refreshing waves tickling my toes as I walked, keeping my eyes on the horizon to my left, occasionally shifting my view with grateful upward gazes towards the blue skies.

Gradually, my feet weren’t feeling smooth sand; there were bits and pieces of bark, entangling strands of sea grass, and other unpleasantries. Too far to walk back for my shoes. Murky water wouldn’t allow me to walk at the waters edge; thus, I was forced to climb to higher ground running parallel to the shore. The effort to place each footstep gingerly and selectively through yards of natural and human debris and detritus required patience and endurance.

Surrounded by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I looked up from the ground, and saw in the distance what appeared to be a section of the beach that looked navigable, and several yards beyond, smooth sand and clear water.

In my initial dismay at what faced me as I set off on my walk, I had forgotten that every year, the river, which intersects the sea about a mile from my house, rids itself of the debris from the hillsides, and carries it the sea. The sea, however, declines the river’s “gifts” and flings them ashore for humans to deal with, or to ignore.

Lessons: Life demands regular cleaning and decluttering. Faith allows us to know that smooth

sands and clear waters are beyond if we keep moving, stepping mindfully, carefully, and deliberately.

Mi Sueno Vivo