I had occasion recently to go to the beach and watch fireworks with my daughter and her family. It wasn’t a holiday… No special events or anything like that… it was in the middle of the week and we just went for no other reason than because we could. And, as anyone that knows me would tell you, I happen to possess and almost intolerable affinity for the ocean. I will seize any opportunity to spend time there in any weather, under any circumstances, for as long as anyone can stand taking me there and waiting for me to be ready to leave.
I don’t fancy myself an astrologer or anything like that, and I certainly don’t make book on my life’s plans based on any horoscope I might come across here and there around the interwebs, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit here that descriptions of me, according to my birthday, are creepy scary accurate in far too many ways to count. As such, it is easy to blame my early March birthday (Pisces) for my otherwise-inexplicable attraction to water. Long before I knew anything about such matters as astrology, I have always known that being at the ocean… or near any large body of water… is where I have been the happiest and the calmest and most relaxed. It’s as if listening to the waves kissing the sand and smelling the heavily salted air recharges my batteries somehow, and reboots my soul. My thoughts are free to wander aimlessly, untethered by the daily monotony of life, and I am somehow made whole again.
And so it was that we arrived at the beach a couple hours before sunset and settled into our spot from which we would View the show once it got dark. We did what most people do, and trundle down to the water’s edge in our bare feet looking for seashells and marveling at the beautiful view and stupid cold water temperatures. The North Atlantic, if you’ve never been, is quite chilly… even in the warmest months of the year… With temperatures that rarely rise above 60 degrees. Kids say they love it as they come back for their towel with blue skin and chattering teeth. Grown-ups that know better just simply call it stupid cold.
I felt as if I was where I was born to be, doing what I was born to do.
Looking up and down the beach it was easy to see that everyone there had come for the same reason; find a good spot and wait for it to get dark. The bikini and Speedo-clad crowd had already left for the day, and only the fireworks revelers were there now, waiting for the show to get started.
Everyone was calm and relaxed and engaged in small talk about any number of topics that you might imagine. There was laughter in some areas and quiet reflection in others interspersed with children of all ages digging and building sand castles and bickering with their siblings.
In other words, it was a gathering of people doing what gathered people do.
It occurred to me, as I sat there soaking in the conversations going on all around me and observed the folks in their own silent reflection… perhaps we charging their own souls… That maybe there was something to this hole Pisces thing after all. That maybe, just maybe, each of us – as unique spiritual beings – are drawn to our respective astrological element from time to time so that we can put ourselves back together again after long enough periods of time spent being torn into little pieces by the demands of the world around us.
It’s hard to say for sure what goes on in other people’s quiet minds, but the one thing I have come to understand about humans- fundamentally social creatures by nature – is that, every so often, we need to gather together and share common experiences – even if only for a short while – so that we might recharge our batteries before heading back into our own respective internal wildernesses.
As a hermit, I was quite anxious to return to mine… happy to leave the crowds behind… but a better, more whole hermit for having taken the time to reboot and put myself all back together again.