Early this year, I was in Northern California and spent an afternoon with my daughter and her friend taking in the breathtaking coastline. We began with a descent down Martin’s Creek Trail to Magic Beach. It was the first time I had been there. The trail began on the side of the road and led us into a shallow forest that quickly opened up into a spectacular view of the rocky shore below. To reach the water required a steep and muddy climb down the side of a hill but once there, we were able to stop and observe.
I was struck by the power of the ocean as I watched and listened to the waves crash into the enormous rocks and the water push it’s way through the cracks and holes and around the barriers. I could see its tireless work in the rocks at my feet as well. They came in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Like snowflakes, no two were alike. The only things they had in common were how brilliant their colors shone when soaked with salt water and their polished edges. They continuously tumbled and scraped against one another as they were dragged back into the water each time the waves were drawn back out to sea. This constant friction transformed them into smooth, beautiful jewels and the process sounded like applause. Perhaps they were giving thanks.
As I approached Wedding Rock, I realized how small we all are and how our lives are a blip on the radar screen. And as I watched the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, I considered that we don’t have much time to leave our mark on this planet before our own suns set.