The truth of the matter is, not every day is a day at the beach. I sometimes worry as I write on here each week for our farm newsletters and when I post about our happy little family that it is just all too “wonderful”. I mean, it really is quite wonderful, and we are blessed in this: choosing to be happy with where we are and what we are doing and in just being together. It takes very little for us. So in spite of having to deal with many of what may be considered the “big” things for some, we simply try not to sweat these “small” things for us too much, keeping a firm grasp on the truths we believe in–that certain things don’t matter (so much).
But we have had our own hardships and we also have our just plain bad days. And maybe those first two years of running this farm business there was a lot more discord going on behind the scenes than I felt comfortable sharing with most folks. But even then, and especially now, even on days when we go to the beach and it looks like this,
we are able to enjoy ourselves and what the day offers just was well as when the sun is shining. That’s what happens when I sit down to write, too. It is a chance to sort through thoughts, and what almost always floats to the top is gratitude and joy. I continually find that this life is an adventure so worth taking part in, even on some of the darkest days. Granted, our hardships have been soft and few from our perspective, and one of the few emotions that gets the better of me when I feel so blessed is guilt for others having a harder go of it. Unfortunately, I am quite sure life can seem bitterly unfair just as easily, it just hasn’t been that way for us.
So Monday, when we arrived at our beach side campsite to celebrate our oldest son’s 9th birthday, leaving a hot and sunny summer valley behind us and expecting (according to the forecast) an unusually sunny and warm Oregon coast, we were surprised to roll into thick fog and gray all around. As soon as we hopped out of the car, we all changed into pants and jackets and stocking caps. It was cold! Or cool at least, and definitely not what we had expected.
But looking through the children’s eyes, it didn’t matter a bit. The beach, the ocean, the rocks, the sand–hours can be spent here with children, and each is as fun as the last. I kind of feel that way too. There was no time for disappointment because we were all there to have a good time. Some of us just relaxing and listening, others romping all around and getting good and dirty, some (the mama) a bit of both being the interloper between adult play and kid play. Besides, it was a mini-vacation, so a break from the heat was just fine with us.
And my silly, newly 9 year old, had a great time. Nothing else mattered. There are many different lines being sold out there about how to live this life. Some of the more pervasive ones, from the last two decades especially, are starting to fade away as people realize that the security of a certain way of going about living isn’t quite as secure as was promised. Living a simple life, putting your family first, doing work that matters, enjoying the small moments….it feels to us fairly secure, and it brings us a lot of happiness. So even on the days far, far away from a day at the beach, or even the more common foul weather days, if I sit down to think about (and to write about) it, almost always, a pretty picture would come out of this head. I am thankful for this security, something I missed out on when I was a child. Unshakable happiness.