Last Friday I was light on work and had loads of free time. Being that I was in Seaside, CA, I thought it only fitting to take a walk by the water. I opened my hiking app and saw there was a nice trail that went along the sea, so I hopped in my car and headed over to the lovely town of Pacific Grove to check it out.
In truth, I had gone to Pacific Grove the day before to check out some book stores and grab a coffee. I thought it was a cute town and was excited to head that way once again. Here, let me share some pictures of the town with you:
When I arrived in the recreation area’s parking lot, I reflected on how unplanned much of my days are in comparison to just a few months ago. I didn’t research the walk or where to park or how to get there. I simply trusted and let Google lead the way.
The sights I were greeted with did not disappoint, and they only got better as I walked the 4 mile loop. Here I’ll share those with you as well:
As part of my reading I have been enjoying the book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, and in doing so have been reintroduced to the concepts of self-kindness and mindfulness. I took these with me as I walked.
I saw myself getting agitated with myself for being “bored” with the beauty around me and for wanting to turn around. I saw myself also getting agitated with my chattering mind. When I noticed these agitated states, I simply observed them. I then extended compassion and kindness to myself while I pushed forward on the walk. I saw the walk not as simply a walk, but instead as a chance for me to practice and to live more fully.
Of course my efforts were rewarded, but those rewards weren’t externalized into some grand event. They were simply there with me as I walked if and when I chose to see them:
I also took with me thoughts about a time of transition my friend is going through. She’s struggling a bit with the emotions and thoughts which are arising (as we all do), and as I looked down at the water I saw the transition point of where the ocean met the sand and I thought of her. (NOTE: Being a huge Counting Crows fan I was also struck with the lyrics “She walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land just like she’s walking on a wire in the circus.”)
I continued to carry these thoughts with me along my walk, and as I was nearing the end the voices in my head kept yelling at me to sit down on a bench, look at the water, and write. I (finally) listened to them, and this is what came out the other end of my pen:
I looked at the water. Specifically the point where the waves crossed the sand + rock. I thought how all these transition points are jagged, complex, confused. I thought about the rock standing strong as the water hits, and how it eventually gets weathered down. I thought of the sand which the water caresses then carries out to sea to parts unknown. I thought of the adventures that sand would have if it chose to go along with the sea. I thought of the water constantly crashing, pushing + retreating to regain strength for another crash. I wondered if during a transition of life if it’s up to us which of the 3 we choose to be.
Now I see we are all 3 at once.
These words on page I was allowed to walk in peace once again.