Sometimes life doesn’t take us where we expect it to but there is still beauty to be found along the way
This week I have learned how to power walk in flip flops…I adore sharks and, as some of you will know, I have recently moved to South Africa to work with these beautiful creatures as an ecotourism guide. I sat on my patio the other day watching the sun skip over the mountains and observed the clouds draping themselves over the horizon like a soft blanket. As I was doing so I heard the Fishhoek shark siren. We have a siren here that is sounded if a great white shark is spotted within the waters at the beach. The idea being that it warns bathers that they may wish to postpone their swim if they are not comfortable sharing their space with these impressive fish. If I hear this siren I think all of my Christmases have come at once as there is a shark waiting to be found at the beach!
Anyway, I heard the siren for the first time since I had moved here and couldn’t have been more excited. I promptly dropped my laptop with a clatter, paced across the house a few times in a flap, grabbed my flip flops and camera and raced out of the front door. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing a shark that I didn’t quite know what to do as I walked along in my flip flops. It is a good ten minute walk to the beach and I discovered that running in flip flops is not an option and walking is just too slow. What if the shark were to swim away due to my inappropriate choice of footwear and ungainly, slow pace? Instead I adopted a version of flip flop power walking and was very grateful for the lack of passers-by whilst I wiggled my hips and bottom in the hope it was faster than regular walking.
I arrived at the beach (definitely faster than regular walking) and promptly ran towards the first few people I could find:
‘Have you seen the shark? Did you hear the siren?!’
It was only after a few puzzled looks that I wondered why they didn’t understand the importance of this. I carried on pacing back and forth, scanning the waves for the familiar dark silhouette. And then a dear old lady said good morning and, after my explanation as to what I was doing, gently told me that the siren I had heard was that which announces the arrival of each train at FishHoek, not the arrival of a shark. Ah, I see. Trains not sharks.
I was quite disappointed to be honest but had a good old laugh at myself afterwards. For had it not been for my flip flop power walk to the beach with my camera I wouldn’t have found the beautiful smaller creatures such as the jellyfish you see here. Instead of feeling the fool and kicking my toes in the sand like a disappointed child (well not for too long) I focused on the beauty in the small moments on the beach.
There is so much beauty in the small and insignificant. If only we can find the good grace to focus our eyes and hearts on those moments we will be all the richer in our souls.
I have a table dedicated to my small moments and it is littered with quotes, seashells and other treasures from the beach. It reminds me to keep positive, inspired and to cherish each day with the people that touch my life. Two of my inspirational poems are on this table and I read them almost daily; Desiderata and If. Go on, try reading them out loud and see how it affects your outlook today. I just know they will make you smile!
They were given to me during difficult times to remind me to keep smiling, to keep appreciating my life and never give up hope. They still do this for me, even on days when the clouds have entirely covered my mind like a blanket and I can’t find my way out of my own mental fog. May they do the same for you and inspire you to cherish your world.