June 6, 2016

Tidal Pool Eyes

The world is an amazing, beautiful place, but how can you see it if you don't stop every once in a while?
Image: Oystercatcher’s Garden by Melissa Cole

One day Linda and I were on the Pacific beach in a place with many tidal pools. Something happened that day that really changed the way I approach the world.

Linda had settled in to view one particular pool while I walked about exploring the general area. She called over to me and invited me to join her. I arrived at her little pool of water on the rocks.

"Check out all the life in here", she said.

After a few seconds I told her I didn't see anything, and started to move away to perhaps find a better pool of water with more stuff in it.

"Stop", she said. I stopped. "Come back here and sit down". I sat down next to what I thought was an empty pool of water.

"You have to have tidal pools eyes", she said. "Just stop and watch".

After a short while I began to see things. Something scurrying under the sand at the bottom of the pool. An anemone opening up. Tiny life forms scooting through the tiny salty sea. After about 60 seconds it was hard to keep track of all the life going on in what I previously saw as barren.

All I had to do was stop.

In First World countries it is hard to stop. We are trained from birth to go, go, go, and stopping for any length of time is liable to arouse suspicion, possibly scorn. But, really, is it possible to retire too early?

Don't we all yearn to just stop? To adapt our tidal pool eyes and see the world for what it is.


  1. A random unrelated comment but have you seen Requiem for the American Dream with Noam Chomsky? A very interesting, in my opinion, talk through how the Western world (focused on America primarily) has come to where it is now.

    1. We have not seen that, but be assured that it is now on our "watch" list. Thank you so much for the reference, and I do think that it is totally related, since it is all connected.

  2. Anonymous6/07/2016

    We went for a beautiful walk along the river. The river made a lovely sound as it moved a long. Birdsong was all around and oak tree saplings where scattered about the place. We walked past the dwelling place of a mediaeval hermit. After this we returned back to everyday life with it's hustle and rushing, or as the Taoists say the realm of dust. Alex.

    1. Very nice. The call of birds is one of the joys of my life, as are trees. And hermits. And taoism. The hustle and rush? Not so much...

      Sounds like you had an ideal day to "strip off the layers of dust on your heart".

  3. This is a beautiful. What a moment. I'll carry this with me to the end of my days.


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