There's a natural tendency I guess for us to want to have smoothness in our lives, the sandy beach with the blue sky and aqua sea if you like. Instead our lives often seem to have rocks along that beach. Sometimes in fact the beach can just be full of rocks. At other times it might have a few rocks here and there interspersed amongst the sand.
We can respond in different ways to those rocks. We can avoid the rocky beach, looking only for the sandy one, always searching for the perfect scene. We might find it but realize that it might not last forever. We notice that even the sandiest beach can be surrounded by stormy seas. It can be encumbered by ugly and smelly seaweed.
We might even find, after a while, that the sandy beach isn't quite as interesting as we expected. It can be calming to walk along the sandy beach but after a while we might find that we want something more interesting, more challenging, more stimulating.
If we make a decision to confront the rocky beach we might want to plan for that adventure. We might use the sandy beach as a refuge, coming in and out of it as we need a reprieve from the rocks. We might find that we even enjoy the sandy beach more after a trip to the rocky beach.
Sometimes we might find that like it or not we find ourselves on the rocky beach. There seems no way to avoid those rocks so we need to do our best to deal with them. Perhaps to take them one rock at a time, walking steadily and calmly across them, with our destination always in sight. Sitting at times to stop ourselves from overdoing it, to reflect and take stock. To look back at how far we've come. To look around and determine the best place to step next. Perhaps even to seek out the sandy beach and find a way to get there. To have a break from the rocks.
We might remember that it can be better to be on the rocks with others. They might help us navigate a better, or different, way through. We might look out for others who are on a similar path through the rocks. Some might be behind us, others might be ahead of us. We might be able to help some of them, just as they might help us. We are all on the rocks together, after all.
Sometimes we seek the rocky beach, looking for an additional challenge. Sometimes it's more challenging than we ever expected it to be. It might test us more than we thought. We might regret starting our journey across the rocks. We might wish we'd been content on the sandy beach and stayed there. Afterwards, we might look back though and recognize what an achievement it was to get back to the sandy beach after encountering the rocky one.
We might discover some new things about the world or ourselves from clambering across the rocky beach. We might get some new perspectives. The sea can look different from the rocky beach than it does from the sandy one. We might be high above the water, we might slip between the cracks of the rocks or we might notice some things on and between the rocks that we would never, ever see on a sandy beach.
We might find ourselves tired and exhausted if we are always on the rocky beach. We all need some time to walk along the sandy beach. Reclaim the calm and enjoy the gentle and safe feeling of sand between our toes.