The Pickering Metaphor

Pickering Beach

Yesterday I took some time out of the hustle and bustle and decided to go to the beach.  I like beaches that are secluded and don’t have a ton of people around.  Just me and the water.  I live not too far from Pickering Beach.  You don’t get the big waves like you do down at Rehoboth or Dewey, but it is very peaceful.  If you drive down Route 9 past Dover, you will see a sign on your left for it.  Yesterday’s visit was a little different this time.

When I go to Pickering, I make it a point to have enough time to walk all the way down the strand.  At the end, when you can’t go anymore, there is a tidal area.  It is filled with birds and sand and life.  It is also one of the most peaceful areas in Delaware if you just want to sit down and enjoy some quiet time.  I first went there back in 2006.  I would find myself returning there, usually when I needed some peace and calm in my life.

Like I said, my visit yesterday was different.  During one or several of the storms this fall, a lot of the beach eroded.  There is a huge area with seaweed all the way up to the dunes.  Not just any seaweed, but quicksand seaweed.  Where you walk in it and your feet go down until you feel water.  Can’t really walk through hundreds of yards of that!

I really wanted to get to the tidal pool yesterday.  I braved my way around the seaweed as best I could until I couldn’t anymore.  It reminded me of life in a funny way.  We have a destination and sometimes we think the road there is going to be really easy.  Until we realize it isn’t.  Do we keep going?  Even if it means putting yourself in a tough position?  Do we sit and wait if it means you might be uncomfortable for a while?  I have to believe that at some point I will be able to get to the tidal pool again.  It may not be today or tomorrow, but the path will be clear again.  It’s when you’re stuck in the weeds that life really happens.  That’s where you make the tough decisions- go on, give up, or wait it out.

I never made it to the tidal pool.  I gave it my very best shot until I couldn’t go on anymore.  I could easily sit there and think I will never see that place again.  Or I can take comfort in the fact that I will get there.  Just not today.  I can still see it perfectly in my mind.  I have an odd memory like that.  I know what the destination is.  But it isn’t the same as being there.  I need to be okay with that.  I need to know that while there are obstacles in my way, they won’t always be there.  Sometimes you just have to have faith.  Giving up, while it may see like the easy thing to do, isn’t really an option.  When you give up you will never reach what you are looking for.  When you can’t go on, you have to wait if you want it.

I can’t be there yet.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to go back and look to see if the path is clear.  I’ll enjoy the journey there even I can’t get there yet.  I’ll take more pictures and sing on the beach as my mp3 player cranks out tunes.  I’ll pick up a shiny rock and wonder at how perfectly smooth it is.  I’ll look at my footprints and wonder about other footprints that didn’t make it as far as I did.  I’ll do funny stuff with the sand.  I’ll stare out into the water and feel peace and calm.  I’ll look at the bright blue sky with the sun shining on me and thank God I’m alive.  I’ll write the words in the sand that mean more than a line in the sand.  This is the Pickering Metaphor.  A simple walk turned into the meaning of life.