Friday, August 3, 2012

The Ocean East of the Shire

Once upon a time, the 17th-century Elizabeth Cittie Shire
stretched east to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean;
but soon after the original Virginia shires were established,
they were split up.
Part of the Elizabeth Cittie Shire
became the two counties of Norfolk and Princess Anne.
So what now lies east of my Shire?
That would be the coastal city of Virginia Beach.

And one morning earlier this week,
I got up and headed for Virginia Beach,
specifically, the Atlantic Ocean.
When the demands of life begin to close in, 
there is no better way to regain center
than to stand at ocean's edge
and watch the waves rolling ashore at one's feet.
The powerful energy of the ocean is mesmerizing, but it is also a paradox. 
It is forceful yet yielding, dynamic yet calm.
And even glimpsing its blue water gives a measure of peace.

But I think the same effect on balance can be achieved anywhere.
It just needs to be some place outdoors
where everything around us, whether water, trees, or fields, is bigger than we are.
It's the change of perspective that brings clarity.
Here are a few of the things I saw when I was at the beach:
a collier (coal ship) at anchor:

pelicans atop pilings:

a sideways walking sand crab
who enters and exits his lair sideways too:

A blue sky with puffy white cumulus clouds:

that suddenly turned into rain clouds:

that chased most all of us away:

It's amazing how the prospect of getting drenched in a thunderstorm
can make those "demands of life" look like sanctuary.

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