By Joy Truscott – Inspired after a walk on our Jeffrey’s Bay Beach
Walking on the beach I see the footsteps forming behind my path. I look back and see that the line of steps is not in a straight line, even though I thought I was walking a direct route. The pathway curves gently around the slight impressions of the sand mounds. I was not even aware that I had been following the contours of the earth.
I walk now with a sense of purpose, placing each foot gently on the earth. Where the sand is hard and unyielding the steps are barely visible and where the sand is soft, I see my mark pressed into the ground. I understand that the world can be like the sand. Soft and yielding at times, allowing me to leave an impression that is well formed and noticeable. At other times, the earth is hard and unrelenting. I have still traveled that way yet the mark I leave is known only to me, so slight is it.
The wind blows towards me and lifts my hair and my spirits, bringing in the smell of the ocean. The breath of life. I breathe it in through my nostrils, recharging my energy and my soul. The wind dances on the sand and lifts the edges from the footprints, smoothing the indentations and sometimes covering them up entirely. Still, I know that I walked that way.
I stop to see, to breathe, to rest a while. My prints are behind me and not yet made ahead of me. I see the expanse of clear sand washed beach and feel the tingle of anticipation realizing that the steps I am to take from this moment on are the ones I wish to make. From this point of pause I can decide which direction I choose to walk; how firmly I intend to place my feet; how far I intend to take myself along the route.
All the while around me the air is changing; the wind the light, and the scenery. It might be the same place it was moments before, but now it looks different. I am aware of the ever-changing, moving and shifting of the atmosphere. As I walk, I adjust my jacket to shield me from the cooling air. I adjust me. The scene will always change. How can I possibly think that it will stay the same? I am not the same. I make the changes in me th