On the boardwalk


I have been blessed with eyes that see… not only see the physical things and events which happen around me, but see deeper into the meaning and emotion and spirit behind that which occurs within my line of vision. I have also been blessed with a mind that sees… that observes, and processes things, capturing the minutest detail for me to reflect upon, and savor. Things which I believe were given to me in order to share them with you. Magical things. Beautiful things.

I walk along the boardwalk every day, with the beauty of the sand and the surf surrounding me, and the various types of birds flying overhead. But the most amazing things that scamper across my vision are the things that a lot of people don’t take the time to recognize… or have forgotten the ability to experience, or are too busy focusing on the swirling stresses inside themselves to be cognizant of.

I see a father and a son throwing a football back and forth with each other. The boy very carefully focusing on gripping the ball just so, pulling back his arm in the exact right way and firing the ball through the air towards his father. The concentration on the boys face was so intense; it almost stopped me right where I stood. The ball spiraled perfectly through the air, and as it did, the boy’s face grew wider with the smile that spread across it. I could feel his excitement, as he watched his father effortlessly catch the ball. And then there was the magic… the tiniest moment, the briefest flicker, happening before me. Their eyes met. The father radiated pride and joy, and his son mirrored the look back at him. For that instant, I could almost taste their happiness, and even though they didn’t miss a beat and continued to toss the ball back and forth, I think that is a moment in time that will be seared into their memories, as it has been in mine.

I see a young couple, walking along the beach, hand in hand. They are smiling, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, and though they are in a beautiful place, they really are not seeing anything except one another. From the distance they seem to spontaneously decide to stop, and drop to their knees, side by side, with their backs to the ocean, each of them reaching an arm up with a cell phone in their hand, trying to seize a perfect moment in time. They each look at the pictures that they have taken and show each other, and they laugh. The kind of laugh that only lovers share… the laugh that sings of the bliss of soul’s completion, and the joy of the moment.

I see a man, and his three very young daughters, riding in one of the ‘family bikes’ that are so popular here. Two of the girls are sitting in the baskets on the front of this bicycle-built-for-four. The smallest of them was sitting in the spot on the father’s right, unable to reach the pedals from her seat. She determinedly jumped down onto the pedals, but was so little that when they swung around, it looked like they were tossing her about like a rag-doll in a storm. She was all arms and legs and hair flying, squealing proudly to her father, “Look Daddy!! I’m doing it all by myself!! Look Daddy!! I’m doing ALL the work!!”
The bemused father, who was laboring along trying to keep the bike moving, could only laugh and encouraged his daughter by telling her what an amazing job she was doing. She eventually managed somehow to scramble back up onto her seat, and hollered over her shoulder, offering a ride to any who wanted one. The father was chuckling, but when she leaned towards him, with wide eyes full of the scheming of a little girl and whispered loudly, “Let’s get someone ~else~ to do all the work, Daddy!”, well… he very nearly fell right off his seat laughing.

I know these things may ~seem~ like very unimportant, inconsequential things. But for me… these are the beautiful things… the magical things… that we too often forget to see.

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One comment on “On the boardwalk

  1. Michael D says:

    Michelle – you truly are blessed with vision – so many things that you experience and share with the world – and so it is us who are blessed to be able to see the world as you see it. This is one of just many of your stories that I have enjoyed reading, and always look forward to the next one…

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