Messy in nature

Umpqua Beach (near Winchester Bay, Oregon)
Oregon Dunes beach

It’s messy sometimes–writing while in nature. I’ve sand on my shorts and sand on the bike bag that I’m using as a writing surface. Rain drizzle smears the lines on wide-ruled notebook paper as my blue pen attempts to scribble this morning’s thoughts.

Words don’t appear on the wet paper, so I skip a few lines to find dry. It’s part of the messiness of being here, alongside the broken clam shells and crab parts that litter the beach.

But straightness and order exist here too—enough to pleasure any geometrist’s heart. Blue sky (after the dark drizzle clouds have cleared) layers on top of white clouds, on green ocean, on white waves, and finally onto tan sand, all extending in parallel lines from far left to far right on either side of the point of my pen as it touches to paper to try and record the wonder of it all.

My detritus will scatter about someday (this image occurs more at age 63 than it did at 23), for that’s what membership in the circle of life mandates. But for now, I enthusiastically engage in seeing, hearing, and doing, and in praying thanks. Trees and seaweed lived and died to make the driftwood and seaweed clumps scattered on the beach. Mountains erupted and their stones tumbled into the river to form the bits of sand on which I’m sitting. Hydrogen combined with oxygen, per a neat chemical equation, to form the mass of water that makes up the vast ocean I see beyond my stretched-out feet. Order and mess are both here, wonderfully real and occurring for always—irrespective of whether I’m penning, and part of it; or composting, and part of it. Life regenerates, and the waves roll on.

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