Friday, October 17, 2008

The Ocean Grooms The Beach

I lay in bed late last night and listened to the sound of waves washing the shoreline of the beach below. The ocean pounds and devastates a shoreline in a storm, but has a way of grooming that same beach when the turbulence is past. The water rakes the sand like you would the leaves in your own yard, leaving all things new again. There’s nothing quite like a freshly groomed beach. No debris, no piles of tangled kelp beneath our feet, no footprints even, only manicured sand stretching north to south, behind us, beneath us, and out before us like a red carpet or a yellow-brick road.

But what if there was never any newness? What if everything that absorbed damage, was torn apart, devastated, worn down or worn out remained that way? What if cleanup, repair or regeneration was not a part of the natural order? It would be a depressing world. It would be a sad world, like an old dog abandoned on the street collecting fleas and discarded chicken bones to feed himself until he eventually succumbed to the cold of that foreboding and unforgiving world. What if there was no intervention in the deterioration of man or nature? Fortunately, the earth, allowed to break down, has also been designed for regeneration, like those self-cleaning toilets you see on the streets of many major cities. Like the ocean tears up, and then rakes the sand, man becomes victim to his own inner turbulence, but he is also empowered with the capacity to reclaim himself from such personal devastation. We have all been there at various times, and to varying degrees.

I lay in bed late last night and listened to the sound of waves washing the shoreline of the beach below, knowing the water was grooming the sand in preparation of my early morning walk. We should be grateful for, and not take for granted, the ocean, and the waves, that live within each of us. They have been designed to groom our beaches.