there are always going to be certain moments in your life when it is hard to separate reality from an event more suited to be fantasy, yet is not. today one such event transposed itself upon me. Left alone at the beach between friends and family visits, i decided to take a long stroll down and back along the coast. (here i will stop and gush about the immense joy of walking along the coast). i cannot get enough. yesterday i walked nine miles in total along the shoreline. It is intoxicating. as you walk along the beach, one’s eyes view stretches on and on, reaching into eternity and making one believe that they are capable of the impossible. our eyes need the horizon, it fills our soul with the same endorphins as a runner’s high, so quite naturally i adore the line of sand, waves, and sky that all drag you farther and farther into it (end gush).
today, however, was quite a different kind of walk. going, there had been a small split in the sand where an adjoined lake was pouring into the sea and taking small walls of sand with it. oddly enough, it looked almost rocky and cavernous in a five foot radius of waves and undertoe. I crossed upstream easily and kept walking, thinking nothing of it and entranced in daydreams. When i returned, the lake was gushing in a twenty foot gap into the ocean and the waves and current were strong. No one could cross the once still beach. One man tried to paddle his child across, but both fell in and were almost swept into the sea themselves. The dark water looked discolored surrounded by the bright blue hues of ocean and sky. I tried to walk farther up and cross but after two steps into the water a strong current grabbed hold of me so i backed out. The only option was to take some stairs upward to land and walk around.
i ended up in a gated neighborhood, two miles from my condo, with absolutely no beach access between where i was and where i was going. i ran, bikini and barefeet, while grimacing, along the blisteringly hot pavement that was the only way home- the type of pavement that is not smooth either, but calloused as my feet would be with rocks and juts and cracks. i danced and jumped between shadows, and the whole time kept thinking how ridiculous i must look.
i began to think that it would seem ludicrous to be hopping and shuffling in pain along a road when there was a beach, albeit not easily accessible, just over to the right. the place i was going was one destination, but there was two ways to get there. yet either way, it would have been the same distance and the same journey. the sand just would have been a lot less painful. two days ago, i was running with my friend lindsey and she asked me about next year—i began the usual story of inadequacy in the school setting and feeling not worthy of moving for and confusion about everything. her questioning of “maybe you should have a little more faith” was read to my own heart as, “maybe you should have ANY faith at all”— because my lack of faith in the future has got me running on rocks. one way or another, i will end up at the future i’m waiting for, but i’m taking a lot more pain when there is sand and an incredible view right on the other side. i’m choosing to harness myself to pain because i cannot be faithful enough to walk along the shoreline with the confidence that my purpose is destined already, all i need to do is walk, one step after the other, into the seemingly never ending horizon. there are two ways to walk towards the future, but faith gives you the confidence of a walk worth taking.