So I went to walk the beach the other day as I try to do every few weeks…clear the mind, good for the soul, that sort of thing…..
And I realized, having been away for about 6 weeks, that it isn’t the same beach, nor am I the same man who made footprints in the sand last time….
I can’t go back….
I mean, really, the water in Lake Michigan is in the same place, and the dunes are still there in the same place, but the details are different each time…..Trees that were washed up on the beach are either washed away or buried….sometimes the beach is a few feet wide, sometimes it is a hundred yards or more wide…(and once in while it isn’t there at all). It is ever changing, sculpted by the wind and waves, changing every moment…slowly, but inexorably.
Nor, of course, am I the same dude who last trod upon it. Each time I am a bit different, changing from day to day…. less proud or more arrogant, more humbled-more beaten down, angry or content….A bit richer or a bit poorer, more stressed or more calm…But it ain’t the same me that walked the sand last time….for time changes and sculpts each of us in the same manner as nature changes the landscape.
Such is the way of nature, ever changing,,, and the way of people too, as we are also a part of nature. And so we are to the people we interact with. Unless we are there every day, together experiencing that change, growing or fading, being a part of that change, then we simply lose a part that which once connected us to that lover, or that friend …..in that the changes that we fail to be a part of, to mesh with, to experience and be affected together.
A friend may become less of a friend over time spent apart, as we and they change separately…. experiences and attitudes may change one, or the other, or both. Some friendships are forever, but they too change as the people change.
But life goes on.
The quote is “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” (Heraclitus). I realized the meaning, the intent of that quote last time I walked the beach. It saddened me.