My walk is slow and careful, as I step over all the creepy, crawly insects on the ground. I pause a second after stepping over a dead praying mantis. I realize that though I had seen many praying mantises over the years, I have never seen a dead one. Guess they have to die also, I reason to myself.
The ugly, straggly branches of a greedy plant force me to walk out nearer to the water’s edge as it inconsiderately covers my path in its reach for the water. As I do this, I step over a small puddle of water that apparently missed the receding flow of the tide. More loss, this time a crab lays there dead. My mind sluggishly talks to God about this, why is there so much loss and sadness? It is so hard to have these obstacles, I tell him. Why do I have to keep walking over and around them? This kind of feels like my life recently, sadness due to loss and conditions that hound me every step of the way. With a muddled mind and hot, humid air surrounding me, I am ready to end this depressing walk.
But – a stubborn speck of resolve pushes me on. I want to get through this – ‘this’ being both this walk and the unwanted circumstances in my life. So half-heartedly, I continue while brushing tears from my eyes and watching more dirty sand collect on my previously white sneakers.
I round a slight bend and abruptly stop in both my physical and mental walk. There is a burst of beauty and color. Wild plants ramble through each other in a beautiful unkempt way – bulrushes, iris, hibiscus and trumpet vine. Butterflies gracefully hurry here and there, looking for the sweetest nectar. A dragonfly from an attractive family line pauses briefly on a leaf directly in front of me. The stark colors of his delicate wings shimmer in the afternoon sunlight that reflects off the still waters of the bay.
A spot of dry sand nearby allows me to sit down and soak in the beauty of it. This beauty and creativity feeds the sad places in me and fills me with hope. Seeing this vibrant, beautiful life, I recognize the truth that even when walking on difficult paths, there is beauty somewhere. These specks of clarity bring about a calm, peaceful state of mind. I find comfort and strength and know that by seeking the one who made it all, I will come to places where I find beauty and hope.