Looking out and looking down

We have just returned from a little mini getaway. It was sheer heaven. Miles of white sandy beaches, more rockpools than we could feasibly explore in four days and an exquisite lack of other beach goers.

It is amazing how far one can walk on a beach. Time seems to slow down, legs don’t grow weary and children don’t seem to grumble about being hungry or thirsty.  With a mixture of clambering over rocks and just walking on the sand, we found the days melting into one another and our little holiday stretched into that lovely feeling of timelessness.

One of our favourite pastimes was looking for shells in the rockpools. By unspoken agreement, we would each find our own section to scour, risking life and limb as we traipsed barefooted over slippery rocks in search of the ultimate prize. And prizes we found. Shouts of “Look what I found!” would ring above the roar of the waves and we would leave our posts to inspect what lay proudly in the outstretched hand of another. Once each find was suitably oohh-ed and aahh-ed over, and safely stowed in the ‘shell-bag’, our heads would once again be bent over the rocks, and the race would be on to be the next one with a treasure to show.

Spending so much time looking down over the last few days has renewed my appreciation for the small things in life. I spent much time gazing out to the horizon, too, and was struck once again by the enormity of our oceans. Looking out at the sea brings home how big and glorious life is, the beauty of the seascape is simply breathtaking. Yet, delving into the little pockets of sealife in the rockpools also filled me with awe and wonder. The tiniest shell that is an iridescent blue; the perfectly formed curves and sheen of a cowrie shell; the crabs with their shell-homes on their backs scuttling in and out around our feet. It is all full of astounding beauty.

Looking out to see the big picture is inspiring and important, just as it is important to remember to look down and appreciate all the ‘little’ treasures life has for us. Whether looking out and seeing the glorious big picture or looking down and seeing the smaller things in life, we can gain a sense of just how much in life there is to breath in and enjoy.

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