Monday, January 13, 2014

Reflections on a beach in winter


Time marches on.

Another year is a gift, a second chance. We start over and begin anew.

“Still round the corner there may wait, a new road, or a secret gate,” said J.R.R. Tolkien.

I start the day at the beach, which is just as lovely as in midsummer, only much colder.

It is deserted except for a few seagulls circling overhead, turning their wings against the wind and casting shadows on the shore.

Sunlight streams into the truck cabin keeping me toasty warm as I gaze in awe at the panorama before me.

In the morning sun, the snow coruscates, as bright light reflects on ocean waves.

Dusted with snow, granite boulders by the water’s edge seem like the stuff of snowmen, huge snowballs waiting to be placed atop each other.

William Blake said, “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

As I adjust to the tranquility around me, I feel the strain of the past week lessen its hold.

In Genesis, God called his creation the sea and filled it with all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, and God saw how good it was.

A walk along the beach in January is very good indeed and a constant reminder of change. Every year, every day, every second – the sea is changing. Countless populations of marine life shift. No stone is left unturned. It is a world in flux.

Today the beach is a world of white, wearing its winter wardrobe of snow and ice, a blank slate lying fallow.

I walk slowly leaving behind footprints in the snow-encrusted sand.

This quiet, open space in this in-between time or interstice reminds me of a musical composition. As a lifelong musician, I think of the Grand Pause.

The concert band rises to a crescendo, and then there is a sudden silence. The musicians have come to a G.P. or Grand Pause, which is a notation over a rest indicating that they are expected to extend the silence until the conductor signals the beginning of the next note. The function of this pause is to create a period of silence at the direction of the director.

January is a grand pause, time to reflect at the Creator’s direction.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter,” said Robert Frost, who lived deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

The cold, biting wind ushers me along. A world of possibilities lies ahead.



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