There’s always a way through

The beach today

The beach is different every day as the tide rearranges the pebbles, creates new rock pools and streams. Today my way was blocked by a new rockpool. Above the rockpool a deep stream gurgled back across the beach to feed this pool. Below the pool, an overflow stream merrily chatted its way to the sea. In trainers I was either going to get my feet wet, or turn back, or – was there a way across the pebbles? Could I find steady rocks to stand on, could I balance, should I turn back or take a risk?

Did you know?

I decided to take a risk, and I might have wobbled once or twice, but I also discovered that in taking a risk, there were surprises in store. Invisible from the edge of the pool, treasures revealed themselves as I made my way across stone by stone.

A cockle (Cerastoderma) with pretty auburn petticoat, next to a beautiful sea anemone waving it’s tiny fingers.

The vivid and exotic sea anemone is named after the equally flashy terrestrial anemone flower. Anemones are predators, catching prey in their pretty frilly but deadly ‘stinging polyps’. They spend most of their time attached to rocks by a sticky foot, waiting for shrimps, and tiny fish to brush against their tentacles. The slightest touch, and the tentacles fire a tiny arrow-like filament into their victim, injecting them with a paralyzing neurotoxin. The tentacles then reel in the helpless prey into their mouth.

Reflective moment

The stakes of this risk were small – crossing the wide rockpool stone to stone; wet feet maybe or a bruised coccyx and pride. But it was a useful reminder and a lesson to take with me off the beach. Although there may not seem to be a way through to where you want to go, you can find a way. We cannot see far ahead, but we can have faith that everything will be alright in the end. And to quote a line from the film, ‘The Exotic Marigold Hotel’, ‘If it is not alright, it is not yet the end.”

Go steadily, one stone at a time. If it wobbles, take it slow, keep your balance or reach out for someone to steady you. Then on to the next stone – keeping your eyes on your goal. Good ‘steady stone stepping’.

Sound of the sea today

As the tide came in it covered all the stones. The sea rocks and swooshes back and forth, hiding all creatures, pools, and treasures. It is a now time to rest, a time to stop and listen. The stones will still be there for stepping on as we feel our way forward, but now is not for moving, it is for sitting.

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