It’s apparently THAT good.

By July 15, 2010 Writing

The path to my favorite beach is rather long (made longer so when you have 2 small children walking with you). It’s not atypical for this part of the world, or the Vineyard in particular. I’ve never let it bother me, because it always seemed like an easy price to pay for the fruit at the end.

On this particular path, moments before you can see the water, the path takes a sharp turn up. One last challenge to beach goers, as if the sand, which is now pliable and deep and seems to have a higher gravitational pull than regular dirt, is asking, are you sure you want to go to our beach?” Are you worthy?”

If you make it, the hill crests and you’re greeted with an equally sharp downhill over light sand that steers you down easily into the water of Martha’s Vineyard Sound.

But before the water and the downhill and the uphill, there is a fence on one side of the path. And lined up at its base, is a row of shoes: flip flops, sneakers, sandals. Some just kicked off, some lined up neatly, some looking like they’ve sat there for years. The invitation is for all to drop their shoes and their off-beachness before entering—like you would before entering a home.

The beach, apparently, is that good.

This morning, as I was leaving the beach after a run, I passed a man and his Great Pyrenees as they walked past the shoe fence. The dog was sniffing along on the non-fence side of the path, when all of a sudden, his head shot up and he hurdled over to the shoes—actually, one pair of shoes, some Adidas flip flops—and started inhaling them with his nose and with his gusto. His tail went so ballistic it sent waves of undulation up the entirety of his massive body.

“Yep, those are Lisa’s shoes! Let’s go find her!” The man said to his dog (who he did not look like, by the way).

Oh…to be able to pick the ‘good’ ones out of the bunch. The good people, the people that are inherently ours. The good ideas, the good concepts, the good words. The good choices, the good paths, the good directions.

And, oh…to be able to have them pick us. To literally have them pull us to them, suck us up and into their eddy. Even when we’re busy on the other side of the path.

Image credit: I took this picture with my Blackberry, as made obvious from the poor quality, one morning last week at dawn—having just topped the hill.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Paula G says:

    OK I love this:”One last challenge to beach goers, as if the sand, which is now pliable and deep and seems to have a higher gravitational pull than regular dirt, is asking, are you sure you want to go to our beach?” Are you worthy?””

    Are you worthy? Very well said – that last bit of sand…

    Wonder why people are more willing to traverse that last bit of sand than take that first powerful step toward what they say they want? It can be THAT good too..

    Love the image you paint with the words and reminds me how much I look forward to getting back to the beach soon!

  • Bonnie says:

    AHHHH, beautiful Lambert’s Cove. Such a sweet little beach and definitely worth the walk.

  • bencurnett says:

    nothing wrong with that pic, Julie- actually prefer the DIY.

    Same with people. My olfactory nerve would have to be, well, the size of a great pyrenees’ to compete with that mutt’s sniffer, but I think I could look at a shoe lineup and guess the good ones. The ones for me.

    There’s something to be said for judging the pair of feet by their covers, to mix a metaphor. You miss some gems, sure, but you find a lot of good ones.

  • Monica says:

    I love your blogs. That’s all I have to say. :)

  • Joseph Ruiz says:

    Hey Julie, hope you are well. i loved this post and the sentiment. Quite a visual. ;-)

  • Ari Herzog says:

    Did they find Lisa?

  • Julie Roads says:

    Thank you, MONICA!

  • I read this last night in bed, and for a minute, it was as if you were talking about my favorite spot on Plum Island. Seems all the really good beach finds make you pay a little in effort before you get there. Oh, but the rewards! Loved “The invitation is for all to drop their shoes and their off-beachness before entering—like you would before entering a home.”

    About finding the good ones: What is key for me is to not doubt it just because it comes easily. In copywriting, I was always told “don’t fall in love with your first idea.” But heck, if after 12-20 other directions that first idea still sings, go for it! In life, as well as with ideas, sometimes, the good ones DO find us. Then it’s up to us to enjoy the treasure.

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