Saturday mornings are one of my favourite times in the week. Rob goes off early to play golf every Saturday and so I have ALL morning to just BE. I love time alone to be still and know God and know who I am, who I want to keep becoming, who is most important in my life and what I want to do with this time I have been given on earth.

Life is a very interesting thing to think about, our time here on earth is important and full of adventures, challenges and very short. As a woman who is looking at turning 70 in 16 months, I so appreciate having learnt to stop, be still, take time to work out who and what is most important to me.

I usually spend a good four hours of a Saturday to enjoy the moment, (one of the perks of my stage in life) breathe in all I can of the quiet around me and draw strength within. We live near the ocean, so to sit and hear the waves coming into the edge of the shore, imagining each wave and how it is limited to how far it can come up the sandy beach. This helps me imagine my life and how far I can travel. I imagine the waves and the impressions they leave on the sand, each one a little different to the other, yet all originated from the same place.

Some bring in bluebottles that create challenges for us swimmers, some broken shells and some whole, some seaweed, some driftwood and unfortunately some rubbish. I read once how the formation, the destination and the impact of each wave is determined miles and miles out at sea, way before it arrives at our feet on the shore. I see the same for us as human beings, our start in life can very much determine our destination and the impact we have on those around us and our own lives.

In spring this year, one of my favourite things I was blessed to observe on a Saturday morning was a birds nest way up high in a Norfolk Pine tree just across the road outside my bedroom window. Over the weeks I loved watching the whole journey for the parents and the baby birds. The building of the nest was so magnificently orchestrated, the branch they chose was strong, the formation of the foliage was perfect to keep the nest from falling in the wind and the materials that they built it with were otherwise very insignificant pieces of nature
however put together so carefully, they created a masterpiece.

The intelligence of those birds is amazing, they were so deliberate in all they did to create a haven for the babies. The waves and the nest remind me of us and our journeys here on earth. Just like the waves, our impact on the sandy shores of our lives are determined by many things we have no control of. The foundation of our lives, where we were first conceived, what we pick up on our way, who we come across in life, what we focus on, can all help determine the imprint we make in the sand.

It can determine what we carry with us to leave on the sandy beach of life, beautiful whole shells or broken shells. Mind you, there is often beauty to be found in broken shells when we see the colour inside some shells that you can’t see when they aren’t broken. When the sun shines on them as only the sun can, you see the soft pastels glisten in return. The birds building their nest remind me how when the insignificant pieces of our lives are put together purposefully, they can create a masterpiece and a safe, nurturing haven for our families.

We can learn so much when we stop, breathe, watch nature and see what it is teaching us.

The good news is that whilst nature teaches us so much and can reflect life lessons for us, we aren’t limited as to how far we come up the beach, so to speak, like the waves are. We have been given the huge opportunity to have a lot more say about our outcome in life than these majestic waves and very clever birds. Yes, our start in life might be determined for us by our parents and circumstances way before we reach our destination like the waves.

However, we can make hard but good decisions for ourselves and rise above any circumstances thrown at us and not let the past determine our future and where we land on the shore. We aren’t helplessly out of control of our destiny like the waves are, where we started doesn’t have to determine where we land in life.

We can as parents and grandparents, learn how to be like the birds and create a haven for the children in our lives by making good use of all the broken twigs etc. in our lives to create a magnificent safe, nurturing nest for them to take flight from.

Don’t let circumstances or someone else determine what you achieve in life, know who you are, strong and capable, make good, sometimes very hard decisions. Enjoy making impressions in the sand of your beach and go as far up that beach as you like. Let me know what impressions you are making in your sand.