During the Christmas vacation, I took my boys to the beach. The day was overcast, and I hoped there would not be too many tourists there. My hope was futile, of course, because the beach was crowded with northerners escaping the snow.
I was irritated at the 'Yankees' for monopolizing 'my' beach. In a foul mood, I sat on my blanket and munched on Doritos. The boys ignored me as set to building a sand castle.
A seagull landed in front of me and pecked at my blanket. Annoyed, I shooed it away. But it came back, pecking and squawking. It was a plump bird with pale gray eyes. I tossed it a chip.
Within seconds I found myself surrounded by gulls, shrieking for food. I watched them as they strutted around me. Some stood patiently waiting, while others pecked at one another in hopes of being the first to catch a chip.
The variety and the beauty of such a common bird struck me. Soon the people on the beach stopped what they were doing and watched me feed the gulls.
One slim bird hovered over my head. As I held a chip in the air, he gently took it from my fingers and swooped down to the ocean. There, he proceeded to dip the chip in the water before gulping it down. Then, he was back, hovering above me as if weightless.
That day I saw the pettiness of my anger. In less than ten minutes a crowd of strangers stood together silently, all equally transfixed by the beauty of a bird.
It is easy to lose sight of the beauty that surrounds us. Each one of is bogged down with the daily trials of life. But every now and then something we see everyday will strike a chord in our heart and leave us marveling at the beauty of nature.
K. Y. Hamilton, BA, MA - Copyright 2006