Earlier today, while surfing through Facebook status updates I noticed a comment about the oil spill: “I don't know how to feel. I don't know what to do. I just sit and shake. But that does no good. It's so big, it's so horrifying.” Since this happened, and every time a disaster happens I find myself wondering what to do. Besides donating money or supplies, I don't usually come up with anything too creative. Today the weather called me and so many others to the beach. It's the perfect day for it; the warm breeze cooling you off just enough to be able to bear the midday sun.
Walking along the edge of the water, giving my feet a little soak on my way down the shore, I stopped and looked out. Since I've lived on Long Island Sound for most of my life I learned early on that it is not the cleanest water. The Sound is a big inlet where much of the rivers that empty into it used to carry toxic chemicals from inland industrialization and even though that was stopped years ago, there is still caution about eating the fish and shellfish. Sometimes a pale foam cushions the water from the sand; not the most appealing sight or smell. This is to say that while I've always loved the beach, I only swim in it a few times a year and give it's cleanliness a middle score.
So today when I worked myself down the water's edge I grew more appreciative of it's state. The sea sparkled more brilliantly, each poke of a wave grabbing the sun into it to make rainbows; boaters yelling out in excitement while dragging jubilant children on over-sized inner tubes. There were actually people on the sand today soaking in the harmony of sun and cool water. The more I became present, the more I realized that this is what I can do to make a difference. I can appreciate this natural beauty that survives. I can notice what we have left and make it count toward enriching my own life. Don't these man made disasters happen because we have lost our reverence for nature, anyway?
Join me, if you'd like, in appreciating the abundance of beauty surrounding us all. I know that we are losing so many innocent creatures to this horror but we can still give love to the ones we have left.