Fingertips of water caressed the sand before returning to the sea. We stood out of reach on the shoreline and watched the waves move in and out. Before Sunday’s sunrise, we observed two essential life elements.
When someone attempted to disturb us, the dog’s bark showed the potential consequences of getting close. The man looked, nodded, and then kept his distance. We acknowledged him, but his presence didn't take us away from the moment.
We couldn’t quiet our minds. Multiple silent reflections interfered with absorbing the fullness of the sacred time.
She spoke first.
"Do you ever think that about discovering bodies washing ashore?" "No," came my immediate response before I returned to an inner dialogue about the children. She continued, "You don't want my mind." In my head, I said, "You don't want mine."
My wife and I were at the beach, but a part of me was at the house. I wondered about the children’s safety. We left them with family, but they weren’t awake when we locked the house and started our walk.
Were they scared? Did they eat breakfast? What were they watching on YouTube?
Then I pulled away from the children and turned toward thoughts about a recent robbery in the neighborhood. Our earlier visitor, who circled the block before joining us at the beach, did not help. Despite the tranquility of the environment, it was hard to cut everything off and be present.
Has this ever happened to you? You're in a beautiful setting with nothing pressing you, but you cannot relax for whatever reason.
Perhaps, this is one of those times now.
You are reading this post but thinking about the commute home. Speculations about traffic steer your mind in multiple directions as you plan alternative routes to avoid the parking lot expressway.
We can maintain a meditation practice and continue to struggle with mindfulness.
There is always something.
Controversy surrounded the lack of care for the workers who made the World Cup possible in Qatar.
Will Smith released a video apology to Chris Rock after the infamous slap.
The beaten Club Q suspect appeared in court.
Despite evidence of racial bias in the sentencing of Kevin Johnson, his daughter's clemency request did not get approved.
Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant in the Shanquella Robinson case.
Riverside, California, managed a tragic catfishing case.
Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
I could continue with more headlines from this week to reiterate challenges with quieting the mind, but you have your share of distractions. You don’t need my help in this arena.
Every day is a blessing. With everything going on, it’s hard to appreciate simplicity. We must train ourselves to recognize the beauty in our existence during the ugliest hours of reality.
I am not suggesting we ignore hardships, tragedies, and injustices. On the contrary, we must give them attention every day the sun rises. One of our challenges is to discover how to sustain the light in dark times.
I am grateful for this week's visitors, my sister, and her husband. They watched the children and made the walk that started this post possible. During their stay, we went on a paddle-boarding excursion, enjoyed some excellent meals, and discussed their return trip in 2023.
Somehow, in some way, we must remember to find joy. So, after reading this post, make time to create a gratitude list before tomorrow's sunrise. People, places, things, and events qualify for inclusion.