It’s a breezy morning on Sanibel Island, FL, and I’m sitting on the beach watching the sun trying to push its way through the clouds. I am thinking about the millions of people who, since the dawn of humanity, have stepped barefoot on a beach, and I can only imagine that each and every one of them has experienced the trance-like peace that arises as the ocean beats its rhythm on the shore. I watch the dance of the waves, each one frothing forward like a soft white cloud blowing across the horizon.
Thousands of shells adorn the beach, each one a reminder of the miracles of nature. How does such a tiny animal create such a work of art?
Whelk casings, twigs, leaves, and other debris lay in clumps along the shore like collages artfully arranged by the lacy fingers of the tide. Occasionally, a seagull comes by to give his approval with a peck or two.
No matter how mild the winter is in the northeast, escaping to someplace warmer is always a tonic for the soul. I’m not going to lie: I don’t want to go home. The warmth and sunshine just feel too good. But even though it seems impossible, I know that warmth will soon return to New England, and that the bleak landscape will be transformed by growth and renewal. I just have to be patient.