‘Never let an opportunity pass unless you’re content with never having that chance again’
Life is simple.
Or so it would seem. All we have to do is rise, go about our day spending time with family and folk, nourishing ourselves on whatever fills our sails, and—if we’re lucky—do it among kindred souls, rest a bit, then do it again tomorrow. Plus, we get the added benefit of doing it in a place where the good Lord obviously felt led to spend a little extra time spreading natural beauty, an area blessed by the Almighty in such a fashion that millions of people save millions of dollars to be able to travel thousands of miles just to pass a mere few days among the natural splendor and attractions that abound along the Grand Strand.
But we’re human, remember? And as such, we’re aces at mucking things up, complicating matters dang near to the max. In fact, I’d wager we’re Masters of the Universe at it. And, generally speaking, all just for a better shot at claiming a podium finish in the rat race. Haven’t we learned that only rodents win that?
Life really is simple and the simpler you can make it, the better, folks. But contrary to popular belief, life’s not measured by the type of car you drive or the size or location of your home, nor membership in a particular club or a large number in an account at Wells Fargo. Nope, it’s far simpler than that: Life is scored in your heart and your actions. And in the shiny glass we each look into every morning. If you’re good with that person, all will be good with your days.
It’s all about perspective. I suppose a life-changing event can serve to focus one’s view of the world; it sure has with me. But that shouldn’t be necessary. The true importance of an event is measured in its impact in 10 years—not 10 minutes or 10 days—so never let an opportunity pass unless you’re content with never having that chance again. Ever. Make that high school football game the most important part of your week, especially the consolation if it’s after a loss. Celebrate that school play like it’s a Broadway show and the biggest deal of your career. Make a week special by planning for a family crabbing or kayaking outing this upcoming Saturday.
Make memories; don’t just pass time. And don’t give the love just to your loved ones, spread it around with everyone. South Carolina is the home of “Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places.” So let a few cars into traffic with a wave, hold the door for some visitors, greet ‘em with a “Hey, y’all.” That’s who we are.
But most importantly, take time for yourself, especially with yourself. Slow down and live. Relish, don’t rush; cherish, don’t chase.
Take the time to make special every second of every hour of every day. And night. Every gift of a spectacular sunrise or stunning sunset and mystical moon-rise. Every ray of sunshine and every drop of rain on a tin roof and drip off a porch eave.
Be grateful for every high tide, or low rumble of faraway thunder and flash of lightning illuminating the distant ocean sky, every wave crashing ashore or wafting wisp of sweet salt marsh air passing beneath your nose.
Relish in the sight of dolphins playing or loggerhead turtles struggling ashore to nest before returning to sea or mullet skipping their way through inlets and canals just because they think they can fly. And, for a few seconds, they can.
Enjoy pelicans hovering before crashing down to grab a gullet full of fish then resting atop a piling to preen their plumage or seagulls scrapping for crumbs tossed skyward by beachcombers or cormorants frantically flapping their wings to their next ambush point while great blue herons and egrets stalk the mud flats.
Appreciate an environment that allows and encourages a kid and his dad to build a sandcastle along the beach while his sister hunts seashells with mom or splashes in a tidal pool with a pal. Watch a family play among the waves, living out a dream vacation in a land that so many of us take for granted.
Yeah, not only is life simple, but it’s also way short. And it’s the only one you get. Seventy, maybe 80 trips around the sun and that’s about it. And tomorrow isn’t coming back.
Take a break, folks. And a breath. Assume nothing; treasure it all. And give thanks eternal.
Don’t let a moment slip away like a wave back to sea.
PHOTO BY JUDY SHARON