Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Benched Week 98: what the waves whispered

The surf, kicked up by a strong breeze, matched my spirit: restless, hurried, purposeful. I had, perhaps, another half hour of light. I was determined to finally sit on a beachside bench.

Since I began this blog, my life has changed. I am now primarily traveling to Florida for events. Worse things have happened, I know. It has been wonderful to catch an occasional sunrise. But the time to have a leisurely sitting has been elusive.

On top of that, I’m pressing. My goal of 100 posts is within sight. I want go out on a high note.

So, as I found my bench and sat, my internal voice chanted, “Make it work, make it work.”

But the ocean had a different thought. “Just…wait,” it whispered. “Just… wait.”

 I took a deep breath. And waited. And tried to stop looking through my framework of hurriedness.

That’s how I noticed the moon over the palms.

The flock of pelicans overhead.

The elderly woman who had joined me in taking in the beauty and the breeze.

And the joyful kids who were poised like victors on a wall they just climbed.

Most of all, I was able to take in the ocean. Scientists say that humans experience a calming effect when faced with something invariable in form, yet filled with variety in expression. That’s why we love campfires, aquariums, waterfalls, and, yes, oceans. We’re all a bunch of oxymorons. Our hearts long for the comfort of constancy mixed with the delight of difference.

Theme and variation: too much varying is exhausting. Too much theming is dull.

I’m ready, after 98 benches, to riff some variations on a different theme. What that will turn out to be is yet to be discovered. I have an experiment I’m going to run on Saturday for my penultimate post that may give me some answers. We’ll see. It may, eventually, involve social media.

But, sitting and soaking in the view of the sea, I’m comforted by the constancy of the pursuit, wherever it may take me. Call it The Call. Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free. Onward and upward.

And like the husband who reluctantly removed his shoes to follow his wife onto the beach, I may take a bit to get adjusted to each new idea that pops up. But I’m ready to get my feet wet.

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