AND Pause To Appreciate

July 7th, 2013

 Storm Sandy and several ensuing winter storms altered many coastlines and beaches on the East Coast quite significantly. I have watched as rocks from one end of a beach more than a mile away have found their way to the previously smooth, sandy beaches at the other end. Today there is a stretch of rocks hundreds of feet long and about six feet wide filled with these rocks at the other end of the beach. One might expect that the rocks would be seen as an inconvenience because they block the smooth path to the water. Yet, that has not been the case. Instead, these rocks have become a curiosity and source of discovery for beach goers.

AND it is fascinating to watch people who come to the beach, as they stop to study the rocks. Rocks that would be seen as mere nuisance and kicked aside in the daily pace of our busy lives become objects of fascination. The color striations in these rocks are generally quite subtle, ranging from blues and grays to stripes of rust and multi-earth-toned flecks. There is no gold in them there rocks, no hidden treasures to be found inside. Yet, in the absence of our usual distractions of flashy media, busy schedules and deadlines competing for our attention, these simple rocks become a source of focus and attention, discovery and fascination.

On vacation, when we slow our lives down, when we reconnect with the natural ebb and flow of nature, all sorts of miracles that occur every day without our conscious awareness emerge. Beauty is both sought and found. When we slow the pace of our lives to match that of nature, we find beauty in simple unadorned things that we might otherwise label boring. The sources of inspiration change when we make space in our lives to receive the gifts.

I watch people leave the beach with a simple rock in each hand, clearly appreciated as treasures. Imagine the treasures we would find in other people and our surroundings, if we designed our lives to be occasionally unplugged from technology and the insane pace of our busy lives. With space in our lives, gratitude and appreciation abound. Perspective is restored and we can recognize what matters. If we were to prioritize looking for and celebrating the treasures that surround us every day, we wouldn’t need to take the rocks home to remind us how to find happiness.

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