Have you ever gone to a coastal region and
found yourself surrounded by beach patrons,
though you feel all alone on the sand? Have
you ever found yourself lost in deep
reflection about your life and how you have
chosen to live it? Have you ever listened to
an ocean's roar and have seemingly known
the message that its voice was relaying to
you through its mesmerizing bellows? This
deeply motivating and soothing technique
has been practiced for generations and yet, so
often, we fail to acknowledge the most
simplistic faction of our journeys to the
shore - the single grain of sand.
Every beach, along with the floors of our
oceans, rivers, lakes and streams are covered
by thousands upon millions of these
miniscule grains of wondrous earth. Still, so
often when we view the coastline, we see
nothing more than a blanket of white or
brown, embedded with shells and overrun
with thousands of other souls, in search of
the same release from the daily stressors of
life. Yet, if we were to focus less on
umbrellas to shade us from the sun and the
cycles of the tides, we would be able to
realize how one tiny morsel of sand can have
profound, life-altering effects in our
outlooks and dreams.
What is a grain of sand and how can one
lone grain have such an important impact in
changing our lives? The grain of sand is a
miracle brought to earth and something
about which countless books have been written and by which many noted song lyrics have been inspired. Great writers and lyricists, from all factions of being, have often cited the ocean and the beach as the two most influential places in their pursuit of the perfect sentiment and where they feel most at peace and refreshed.
How is a single grain of sand monumental in comparison to our lives? Upon every beach and beneath every waterway, there are multitudes of sandy grains. However, no one grain could create a beach on its own. Every shoreline, every oceanic trench and every river basin was formed by a morsel of sand that worked with countless others, as one, to create something grander. Take one grain of sand away from the spectrum and you will more than likely be left with a coastline. However, with every grain of sand taken away, the coastline will become less and less plentiful and the pattern will continue until only one grain remains. This grain then takes a different characteristic. Its purpose and worth disappears, as it shall no longer be seen as one small portion of a wonder far greater. It shall, in this light, be seen as a speck of dust and a fleeting memory of what was once a lasting miracle.
The comparison of the grain of sand to our lives becomes clearer when we stop to think about the meaning that the morsel has on every aspect of coastal life. As humans, we are unique and independent creatures of habit. We are often much attuned to the way we wish to conduct our lives and we are not always willing to accept change. We like to do things on our own, without assistance, and we do not like being told that we cannot live as we might wish. In more cases than not, our human traits and moral characteristics pave the way to chaos and turmoil, in an already, ever-changing world. This uncertainty tends to leave us questioning where we can safely turn for wisdom, advice, gratitude and love. Many times, we turn to our family. Many times, we turn to our friends. Many times, we turn to our spiritual beliefs. However, there are still times when the occasion seems as if we are wandering aimlessly through a world with no direction. This does not have to be the case.
No mountain can be moved by a single hand. No river can be crossed without adequate resources in which to do so and no task is too great that we should have to work through it alone. Even though, we are self-serving individuals of habit; often overwhelmed in life and too proud to ask for assistance, we need to remember the fact that "Rome was not built in a day" and we do have support outlets that are willing to lend us a helping hand when we are in need of one.
Just as each lone grain of sand forms together with others to create the beach and coastal regions that we love; our friends, our family members and our support systems can join with us to embark upon something that is more wonderful than anything we have ever known. Our success and happiness can be enjoyed; our sadness and tragedy can be overcome, as long as we vow to face life's adversaries and to never walk the passageway, alone. For as William Blake wrote in the Augaries of Innocence:
"To see a world in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower;
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour."
I pray that you will always find hope and peace in each of life's journeys and that your "Hour of Eternity" is as simple and resilient as each precious grain of sand.
© 2004 – Jill Eisnaugle, All rights reserved.
Jill Eisnaugle is the author of Coastal Whispers, a book of inspirational poetry written to comfort the heart and soothe the soul. She currently resides in Texas City, Texas with her family and pets. Please obtain Ms. Eisnaugle's written permission before reprinting or using this work in any manner.