I was walking at the beach today, as I often do, and I happened to glance down at the sand. I usually spend my time doing a walking meditation; that is, paying attention to my senses (the sand between my toes, the cool breeze on my arms, the scent of the salt area, the sound of the ocean, the call of a seagull…) or talking with God. It’s my quiet time, away from the hectic pace that creeps in, and a time when I can just be.
The waves are too loud to hear a podcast or music (not that I’m complaining) and even if they were quiet, the wind is loud enough to drown out everything else.
Today, though, I happened to be looking down. I wasn’t looking for whole sand dollars- they’re always smashed to smithereens- and the best beach to find agates is down the way about twenty minutes.
Staring up at me was an image of an old woman, her face wrinkled yet her eyes wide and clear, as if saying that she’d lived a long, happy life.
The thing is- I saw this image in the sand. My mind began to spin a tale about this woman. I imagined a young lady walking on the beach and out into the waves, disappearing and presumed dead. How years later, as an old woman, she’s reflected on her life and wonders if it’s too late to right her wrongs. In seconds, I had the premise of a story.
I nearly cried. My creativity was back! I don’t know quite where it went or when or why. But, damn, it sure felt good to have a whole ‘nuther world floating around in my head.
On the way home, instead of just marveling at the pack of raccoons that live in a yard a few blocks over from me, I began to wonder how an elderly lady ended up with her own nature-provided security system. Did her husband pass away and she began feeding the raccoons for companionship? Did she nurse a baby to health and, once released they mated and brought their family. Does it make her nervous, knowing there are over a dozen raccoons? What do the neighbors think?
It was almost like entering an overgrown jungle, climbing back into the recesses of my imagination. It reminded me of stepping out into the sun on the first warm, sunny day.
It felt like coming home.