Monday, October 8, 2012

Lessons from the Coast: Walking Into the Wind

Beach walking. Photo © 2012, Susan E. Hance

Walking on the beach is soothing. It lets me get my thoughts together, and frankly after Labor Day is my favorite time. Visitors return home to settle into bustling lives, school, work, and everyday challenges.

There are lessons to be learned at the beach. It's a microcosm of life in some ways. Here is one lesson. I'll post others in the days to come. You may have others to share.

Start out walking into the wind. You'll be tired on the return trip and the wind at your back will help you along. The Irish prayer says, "May the wind be always at your back."  Of course we wish we could sail along without resistance. But in life, the initial struggle to achieve your goal makes the other side easier going (but not without gusts). 
Memory plays out my struggles to finish college, graduate school, the first job, marriage and parenthood. Experience and confidence make things easier in some respects, though marriage and parenthood are filled with swells and gusts continuously, no matter how many years we have at the helm.
I watch the pelicans glide into the wind, soaring just above the water, using the wind to stay aloft and to control their bodies as they search for dinner. Hopefully I can learn to use resistance to stay aloft and steer a clear course too.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

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