There’s a time warp experience to walking on the same beach with the same person from one year to the next. On an unusually warm Saturday in February I took a 3 mile walk on Hampton Beach with my bride. We had plenty of company, for everyone else had the same idea. Power walkers, casual strollers, hard core swimmers, horse riders, and seemingly every dog in New England chose to be on the same beach at the same time. But at low tide on that particular beach there’s no shortage of elbow room.
I tend to celebrate quiet beaches more, but the people receded into the background on this walk. For it was a walk through time. Reflecting on the past, talking about the future, observing the present stepping across the fragile hourglass of life as we moved across the sand beneath us. She talked about time spent right in this very spot as a child years ago, the memory still fresh in her mind. I recalled a similar walk several years ago and her same observation, when we were both so different and yet the same. Everything changes on the beach, including the people who walk it.
The parade of dogs kept bringing us back to the present. Dogs of all shapes and sizes celebrating the moment at hand. Dogs, like children, have a way of bringing you back to the present. And there we were, walking the beach, considering the deck of cards we’re playing at this moment in our shared life, knowing the challenges coming soon but assessing the opportunities too. You can cover a lot of ground walking the beach, even when you can see the end clearly from where you began.
Sand and warm sunshine Saturday, snow on Sunday. Sun and stormy weather, all in one weekend. Such is New England. Life isn’t always a walk on the beach, but then again, on some precious few days, it is.