NOTE: After a little jaunt to Myrtle Beach last week, 5 short “Learnings from the Road” posts this week!
Last week, my husband and I traveled to Myrtle Beach with our close friends, Jane and Pat. Jane’s parents generously invited us to share their rented condo on the beach for a few days and we were excited to spend time near the ocean with some fun people.
Myrtle Beach, for those who aren’t familiar, is one of those built-up beach cities: lots of high rises and hotels, boardwalks, buffets and beachwear stores. So when we arrived at Jane’s parents’ place, it wasn’t terribly surprising that we were staying on the 14th floor of a big condo building. I don’t have a lot of experience with these kinds of places and I have to admit my inner New Englander felt a certain amount of skepticism about it. All my beach memories were of walking out the door and to the water, not down the hall and down the elevator! Going to the beach was about being on the beach!
Gratefully, I kept my thoughts to myself (unusual but wise!). We loaded our gear onto a luggage cart, rode to the 14th floor, and rolled into the apartment. Sliding doors opened onto a balcony and we stepped out to see a broad view of the Atlantic Ocean with the smooth, white beach unwinding as far as we could see in both directions. We could see the curves of white foam as each wave rolled in. Culsters of seagulls and formations of pelicans glided just feet from our balcony. South along the shore, we could see the skyline of hotels and the brightly lit Sky Wheel. To the North, we could watch the sun rise through the clouds. One night we watched as the sky darkened, the rain pelleted the sand, and the lightening lit up the horizon.
Standing on the balcony opened my peripheral vision to see a huge expanse of shore and water and sky. From high up, I watched a family building a sand castle, kids feeding the sea gulls, and an old man walking his excitable dog – all at once. I could see the patterns of people moving along the shore: those that strode through the water and those that skittered away from the incoming waves. I watched the most popular places for blankets and umbrella fill in as the sun rose higher. I even used Nia Principle 10 (X-Ray Anatomy) to watch bodies walk and run and play. Spending time on the 14th floor gave me an opportunity to see the beach and the ocean from a whole new perspective.
Don’t get me wrong, my absolute favorite part of being on the beach is being on the beach. I love swimming and looking for shells. I love the feel of sand under my feet and the rush of body surfing down a wave. There is just nothing like the feel of the wind and the sun and the smell of the ocean.
And now I’m also grateful for the chance to see the beach from 14 floors up. It opened a whole new level of beauty to a beautiful place for me. Looking at a favorite thing from a new perspective was refreshing and wonder-filled. It can be so easy, when we love something to just keep looking at it from that one loving perspective. Today, see if you can look at something you love differently. If you take Nia today, stand in a different place to see if the change of perspectives opens up something new. And tomorrow, go back to your favorite spot. Because after all, the best part of being on the beach is being on the beach.