Beach walks; always love them. A daily thing, regardless of weather conditions. Clears the head, good for ideas, good for sorting things out, good for the lungs and other equally impressive organs. (We have many.)
Why am I sharing this? Big deal, right?! A man goes for a walk on the beach…. At least I am not taking photos of my food and posting it. Or telling you about my dreams from last night. Or lamenting about a bad break up.
But is there a point to this verbal stroll? Yes.
As I was walking back, in the last few kms, I passed a small group of teenagers ambling in the direction I had just come from with the wind at their backs, enjoying the water, the shore, the openness.
And walking past them with the strong wind resisting my advancement, I considered the metaphor between the walk there and back and life itself. The first half you have the wind behind you, momentum. On the walk back you are pushing against it. It’s not as easy.
The youngsters don’t know the difference. Not until they reach the turn around point. Then it becomes apparent.
It’s like life. Is there any point in advising them, that their return trip is not going to be as effortless, I wondered briefly. They won’t be aware. Like I wasn’t on my way downwind. I may have even shortened my journey south if I had known how up against it the journey back was going to be, comparatively.
And then I wondered; would I like to be heading downwind again. And the answers was no. Because you just have to come back again.
Like life. You move on, move forward. It becomes more challenging but you keep going. Even if you could go back - why would you? You’ve got to face what is happening where you are at when you are there.
No escape. No point in lamenting. Head down, face to the wafting opposition of nature and move forward. Where to? The next challenge. Is there any other way? No.
Like life. Just keep going.
What I would have appreciated, though, when I was in my downwind segment of my life, would have been to have realised this - what I have just said - and appreciated the comparative easiness and natural boost of youth. It’s been said before, by many. And I probably did read it more than a few times back then. But, really, you can’t fully get it until your time comes and you experience it. It’s just the way it is. Ironic. Youth is wasted on the young, was the quote I remember. Not wasted, but, you know, would've been good to have been able to save a bit for later.
Not lamenting, just observing. If you get me now, if you are on your own walk back, you’ll understand.
And if you are still in the first part of the journey, heading with the wind behind you - enjoy it! Savour it! Be free!