The Beast Beneath

An after-taco dinner stroll along the beach, just Dad and me. We covered three miles, engaging in sporadic conversations and relishing moments of tranquil silence.

When it comes to writing, I often find myself caught in a push-pull dance. Sometimes I’m unsure of what to write about, while other times I resist putting anything down at all. It’s a delicate balance, like a trainer coaxing a boxer, massaging my thoughts and motivating myself, saying, “You’ve got this, just be true to yourself, baby.”

The grass seeds I scattered failed to sprout without the nourishment of rain. After mowing the patchy, ankle-high grass, I picked up the hose, hoping that our three-day stay here would bring some growth.

Work has been quite the rollercoaster ride lately, although not the chaotic, out-of-control kind. It’s more like being a skilled bull rider, where calculated practice allows my thighs to grip tightly and my hands to apply just the right amount of pressure, merging with the powerful force of the beast beneath me.

It’s a rarity to have that much alone time with my Dad. Despite his upcoming knee surgery in November, we maintained a brisk pace. I excitedly shared with him about ChatGPT, comparing it to the powerful and exhilarating tools like Microsoft Word or Excel when they were first unveiled.

Finding our spot about ten feet away from the encroaching tide, we settled in. Dad’s watch kept us on track, ensuring we’d turn around at the 1.5-mile mark.

While walking, I spotted a light blue shell, a jellyfish, and a partially alive sand dollar. I couldn’t resist picking up the sand dollar and hurling it as far as I could into the incoming wave, hoping it would find renewed life in the ocean.

Heading back, with the wind pushing against our backs, we made our way home. On a large piece of driftwood, just minutes after we passed, an eagle had found its perch. Its contrasting white and black feathers stood out against the gray sky, and its proud, stoic demeanor reminded me of a grumpy old man. A few steps later, the majestic bird took flight, gracefully soaring at a height no taller than us.

These simple moments with loved ones become precious treasures in a world filled with distractions and obligations. They remind us to slow down, to appreciate the beauty around us, and to cherish the relationships that bring us joy.

With each passing day, I continue to learn that life is a delicate balance of push and pull, of uncertainty and discovery. And in the midst of this dance, I find solace in the power of connection, in the embrace of moments that fill our hearts with warmth and gratitude.

Love, Jaclynn

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