The beach is a novelty for our family. Last week, on our way to Disney, we decided to take a detour to Newport Beach. I’ve probably gone to the beach a handful of times, the memory of my experience, completely forgotten.

My feet hit the sand, a giant wave of crunchy coldness lined the crevices of my feet. The wind gusts and my hair gets away from me, the occasional strand out of place covering my eye. The sounds of birds overhead, the waves welcoming me, I watched as my daughter and my husband went to hug the water. As my daughter got closer to the waves, she would run, afraid the water would engulf her. Her squeals and laughter disturbed the quiet around us, her voice vibrating in the air.

When she is this excited, I tell her to quiet her voice, but I didn’t this time. The open space absorbed her squeals, almost as if she never raised her voice. With her running back and forth chasing the water or the water chasing her, my thoughts were uninterrupted, my eyes focused on the horizon, the blending of pinks, blues, and whites. I took a deep breath and I was aware that my mind was completely blank. I’ve always had a hard time reaching a blank state of mind, always struggling to quiet the restlessness that is my permanent shadow. I am always anticipating the next moment, betraying the present, neglecting the now. But on that beach for a brief period of time, what was happening around me, enveloped me, the waves pushing any unnecessary thoughts out of my mind.

My daughter and husband were standing at the edge of where the sand meets the water, while I stood a few feet behind them.  I smiled as I looked at them, the love for them, reminding me that now is something I take for granted so often. I am always chasing something, a continuous ferris wheel that moves in circles in my mind never allowing me to escape.

When I sit down, the sand parts, cascading down my feet and while my eyes gravitate again to my husband and daughter and I am captured with an overwhelming sense of peace. I chuckle to myself and say out loud, one word – Now.

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What are your experiences with the beach? Does the beach have an overwhelming effect on you?  Do you struggle with a restless spirit ? How do you remind yourself of living in the now?

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