I notice things sometimes. Not all the time, mind you, but sometimes. I’ve noticed whenever I am vacationing at the beach that you can pretty much divide people into three categories. You have the Bakers, the Walkers, and the Hunters. Each coast loving clan has characteristics particular to their group.
Take the Bakers. My husband is a Baker. Bakers come to the beach to marinate. They set up their nests early and settle in for the better part of the day. I should probably pause to make a public service announcement about melanoma about now, but let’s not bring down the fun level here. Instead we’ll focus on all that vitamin D they’re producing. In addition to marinating, Bakers bring along plenty of reading material to break up their napping. Bakers close their eyes behind mirrored sunglasses and will the cares of their lives away with every breeze that blows by. It is those quiet moments of solitude that refresh them.
Now the Walkers are different animals. They, too, set up nests, but it doesn’t take long before they say something like, “I think I’ll go for a walk on the beach.” And off they go. And walk they do. Briskly and with purpose. The Walkers like to talk about how far they walked and how good the sand felt on their feet. The Walkers enjoy justifying all the poor eating choices they’ve made on vacation with all the beach walking they are doing. The Walkers feel the pressure of their lives being released with every step they take along the shoreline. The farther they walk the better, emotionally, they feel. Many of life’s problems are solved on their walks.
The Hunters. The Hunters are my clan. The Hunters want to make nests, and they say they are going for beach walks, but in reality, they are neither Bakers, nor Walkers. Hunters are collectors, observers. A Hunter can go to the shoreline with the full intent of walking its length, or at least a great part of it, only it find themselves pausing to look, stooping to pick up, and choosing to keep that which can only be found on the beach. They make slow progress down the beach. Their intentions are good, but they are distracted. Their hands end up full of treasures they just cannot leave behind. Shells, coral, driftwood, and sea glass are all irresistible to a Hunter. As they search the shore for keepsakes, the cares of this world float away on the waves that lap at their heels.
Whether you call yourself a Baker, Walker, or Hunter, a trip to the beach can help anyone gain perspective. Looking out upon the vastness of the ocean or night sky, watching the precise timing of the tides, feeling the infinite grains of sand squish between your toes can cause any stressed vacationer to remember there is something greater at work in this world than what might be going down in theirs. Standing on a beach is one of the best places I know to connect with God and capture his mightiness, whether you’re a Baker, a Walker, or like me, a Hunter.
“Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name…” Jeremiah 31:35