I went for a three-hour beach walk yesterday. It was perfect timing, with low tide at the mid point of my hike so I mostly had hard wet sand to walk on. It was also a perfect ocean day, cloudy and foggy, and so cool I needed to wear a windbreaker and a scarf around my neck.
For all those hours, the scene never changed — the sea on one side of me, the grass-covered dunes on the other, the sand in front of me, all narrowing to a single point in the distance. It almost seemed as if I were on a treadmill, going nowhere. And yet the scene was ever changing — birds came into view and left, waves of various intensities broke on shore, an assortment of shells and gravel littered the sand.
This never-changing / never-the-same view made me think of us and how we always seem to be the same and yet we are always changing, at least our view point is changing. I don’t know how much we can change fundamentally. At rock bottom, beneath our emotions and our mental chatter, we are awareness, and awareness simply is. But our viewpoint changes with every new challenge, with every widening of our horizons.
I feel as if I should add to this piece, fill out the thought, add a pithy comment or a bit of wit, but apparently, this is the totality of my insight.
Never changing. Never the same.
(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)