The Beach today
A dog and his owner? A dog on his own and a walker coming along before or after? Animal and man going in the same direction – together or not, sand doesn’t record the time of activities but it does photograph their imprint as a temporary record between the tides.
Did you know?
I thought it was interesting that the sand images above show that both the dog and human walk by placing their feet one in front of the other to create a line as if walking along a tightrope.
The dog in the photo below has more of a crooked gait, perhaps an older dog, waddling along?
I liked these set of prints, where the hind leg sank deeper in the sand than the others – perhaps he was carrying a weight on his shoulders…
Spoor is a trace or a set of footprints by which the progress of someone or something may be followed.
There is not much point following these tracks as they usually lead along the beach and then back to home or a car. However, what can we learn about the tracks?
What would your footsteps look like? Heavy tread that sinks down in soft sand? A regular stride in a straight line, or a more meandering path? What is the spoor that you leave as a trace?
Do we ever remember to look down at our feet?
Do we notice our own steps and those of others? What footprints do we leave in the sand – how do they affect ourselves and others? Are we alright in our own meanders, or should we be taking a different path?
There is something special about being the first one to leave footprints on freshly erased sand as the tide retreats. But equally it can be comforting to know that although alone, you are walking the path of others – human or animal.
The Sound of the Sea
Listen to the sounds of the sea and imagine the waves reaching the patterns your footsteps have made in the sand today. Let them wash away to clean sand and enjoy that feeling of new and fresh starts – to dance the same dance, or walk in a different direction.
Footprints in the Sand Poem
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
“I don’t understand why, when I need You most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you,
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
Margaret Fishback Powers, 1964
(Original version of this poem was written by Mary Stevenson in 1936 when she was only 14 years old.
Unfortunately she did not keep a copy, however in 1984 she found a copy which was dated 1939 tucked away in an old travel case with other poems.
Therefore, the record states that the original version of Footprints in the Sand was written by Mary Stevenson in 1939.
This poem is sometimes referred to as “I Had A Dream”. Leona Lewis, a British recording artist recorded a song based on the poem “Footprints in the Sand.”
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