Our favorite family escape is the beach. We used to live just a few minutes away from it and could easily hop in the car and stop by for a early morning meditation, afterschool romp, or a sunset stroll. Now, living half an hour away, our beach trips are fewer. My mom lives on the beach and we recently took an evening stroll with family. The weather has been so mild this winter, who could resist spending some quiet moments taking in the glorious view and the salty breeze?
The view to the north is of some city storm drains. I’ve always hated them. The diamond sign screams “Danger Obstruction”. Trust me I need no warning. They are enormous, rusty, ugly ol’ things, draining lord knows what from our gutters into the precious water. Ewww. I prefer the view from the top of the boardwalk, taking in the vast sky before me. We can watch the huge cargo ships, aircraft carriers, and battle ships coming into port from all over the world. The Navy Seals practicing maneuvers and fighter jets flying overhead, practicing their touch-n-goes is always entertaining. I love this beach!
My children have spent their lives playing in the sand here since they were in diapers. It is home. The kids always knew the rule never to play on the storm drains. I don’t need an emergency room run for a tetanus shot interrupting my beach day, thank you very much.
“Let’s go take a walk to the storm drains mom!”
Now that they’re older, I think I’ve relaxed (or given up) a bit. The sun was setting and the daylight was getting short, so off we went. The kids ran ahead, racing each other. My hubs and eldest walked arm and arm. She’s growing up so fast and will soon be off to college (sniff, sniff, wahhhhh!). I’m glad she has such a closeness to her daddy.
The sentimentality of the kids’ growth is a reminder of my own age. I hate aging! The mirror doesn’t lie. The lines around my eyes are deeper and more visible, and the texture of my skin is changing. I can’t stop the clock and I desperately want to! I know I have to accept aging and embrace it. I need to change my perspective. I’m trying, really I am.
n. a) A view or vista b) A mental view or outlook
We reached the storm drains. The kids climbed up some strange concrete structure I’ve never quite figured out exactly what its purpose was, and I glared at the ugly, rusty, old flaking iron pipes. I’m not sure what happened at that moment. A lump formed in my throat. Maybe it was the children’s laughter, the sunset, or just stupid hormones, who knows?
I saw beauty in the rust.
How could I have not seen this before; the colors of the rust, the wood, worn by years of wind, salt and waves crashing against it, the algae and moss, and the crusty barnacles and sea life that was living on and around it?
There was beauty right before my eyes but I had refused to see it because it was OLD and ugly. I know I want others to see beyond the crows feet and smile lines and see me for who I am, but do I refuse to see my own beauty that lies within? It is all about perspective indeed.
The sun was falling behind the beach homes and we started back to mom’s house at the end of the row. The sky was beautiful and a warm glow bounced off the window panes.
My younger daughter, Madison, held back and walked with me. Talk about the beauty of youth! People say she is a mini-me. (I’m not a real brunette by the way, I’m actually a blonde. I get bored with hair easily and I’m trying the brown thing out.) Though I certainly don’t retain her youthful beauty anymore, we do share a sassy, opinionated demeanor I still unfortunately haven’t outgrown.
She snapped a pic of me. Madison loves taking pictures and is a pretty good little photographer. See what’s in my hand? I managed to collect of few pieces of driftwood and a few shells, but the beach was pretty clean. A girl can never have enough drift wood and shells to decorate with. (haha, see I had to fit something about decorating in this post!)
How about this perspective? I don’t need to be overly introspective when I see this home. Pretty beautiful isn’t it? Mom’s home is gorgeous, there’s no denying that. It’s the prettiest home on the block in my opinion.
Who knew a simple walk on the beach would change my perspective on appearance?
Have you found beauty in the rust?