Over twenty-five years ago I was sitting in a lecture in medical school listening to a professor talking about something. I don't remember what the subject was. But, I’ll never forget that in the middle of the lecture he put up a slide of a fragile, yellow flower poking up from a city street. The brightly colored little flower was in stark contrast to its barren concrete surroundings.
The professor asked us to look at the picture and consider that there is beauty all around us in the world, even if sometimes we have to try hard to find it. He pointed to the flower and said "See, here through a crack in the asphalt in this urban jungle, a tiny flower struggles to press its face against the sun - beautiful!"
He was right. It's easy to forget these days that we live in such a wonderful world - there is so much ugliness and despair that one can become overwhelmed. Seeing the good things sometimes takes an effort.
I live 3 minutes from the ocean by bicycle. You might think that means I'm at the beach every day, but I'm not. I often find that I just “can't find the time.” This translates to “I don't always make the effort.”
When I’m feeling gloomy I find the time for a bike ride to the beach. I sit on the sand and listen to the sound of the waves; I watch the sea birds swooping and soaring over the water, and I marvel at how the setting sun paints the sky in brilliant red and orange hues.
It doesn’t make the troubles in my life or the world go away, but the experience helps to restore me. It gives me the strength and the will to go on trying. It reminds me of the eureka moment I had when a professor showed a picture of a simple yellow flower stretching its petals so hopefully toward the sky.
This weekend I thought I’d share my bike ride to the beach with you by capturing some of it with my video camera. I've posted a compressed file on this blog and at youtube. It’s also on the video page of the Fitness Rocks website. I'll be sending it out as a podcast later this week. Some of the detail was lost in compressing the file to upload it, but I think it’s still pretty. I call it "Sunsets." Send it to a friend who’s feeling down.
I hope it brightens your day.