This experience came at me out of no where. Despite my 10 year high school reunion this year, I haven’t paid a particular amount of attention to my age (well, more than normal anyway). So, this boat thing surprised me and really, really helped me clear my head on the whole damn age thing.
After a long run (well, long for me anyway, I’m a total newbie to running) along the shore front of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, I did my normal cool down walk. It was a beautiful breezy summer day, and sweaty or not, something was calling me to go sit down on a public bench on the beach instead of returning immediately to my car to go home and shower. The sky and water were both insanely blue, and I decided to listen to the urge to sit, rather than ignore it (the easier option).
The only reason I actually listened to this voice came from my recent commitment to my meditation practice. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit as a yoga teacher for the past four years, my daily home meditation practice was sorely lacking. I began to get serious about it this summer, and settled in to a nice space after a month or so.
Stay with me here – once I made a commitment to get my butt down on the ground for 10 – 20 minutes (mind you, I had to work up to that amount of time, I started off with a few minutes each day), I started to see the benefits immediately, and I was addicted.
I am pushed to consider the world around and inside me, to recognize love in myself and admire love in everyone around me. It’s freaking amazing. It puts me in check when I have a moment where something might jump out at me to knock me down. I take a moment to calm down or just breathe in gratitude. Much better than seeing red when someone cuts me off in traffic!
It also guides me to focus and recognize when the universe tries to send me signs, messages, or just a little love. Normally people only acknowledge messages after something tragic happens, like a death, to see little signs of love around them. Small, yet significant – a particularly beautiful sunset, a certain song on the radio or a dog coming to say hello with the same name.
The Event that Changed My Outlook About Age on the Beach
About five minutes after I sat down on that bench I was called to put my booty in, I saw off in the distance a little parade of sail boats coming down the waterway. They were about 1000 feet offshore, and a beautiful site to see. They were coming in at a fast clip, so I decided to walk down to the water’s edge and take a few pictures.
Right as I got to the shore line, I happened to look down at the pebble beach (I’m a big fan of mermaid tears/sea glass or beautiful rocks to collect), and there staring up at me was a beautiful heart-shaped rock. Now, this in and of itself would be a little universe love moment for me, but it was even more special because I love looking for heart shaped rocks specifically. On our vacations, my boyfriend H would watch me look for interesting rocks or shells to keep, and he began to do the same thing for me when we were in long distance portions of our relationship.
Today, there was the most lovely heart shaped rock, perfectly positioned, staring up at me.
I smiled, picked it up, and continued to watch the boats come closer. I sat down and took a few more pictures, and when I looked down again, I saw a little lady bug near my left calf, hanging out on the pebbles. I smiled again, because I have always believed lady bugs are good luck. Some people get freaked out by them, but I think they’re so stinkin’ cute!
I laughed out loud at this point, because I saw this as a third sign in the past five minutes of the Universe saying, shouting, “We love you!”
I thought to myself, what exactly is the universe trying to say to me right now with this beautiful sail boat parade I was clearly meant to see? What do the boats symbolize? They were sailing right in front of me at this point, and more beautiful and ethereal than ever.
In some of my lessons with meditation and healers, they have mentioned the special nature of numbers. Some people see a different sequence of numbers repeatedly come up in their life, or like to make a wish on the clock at 11:11.
This is not something especially new, it dates back to the times of Hermes, Plato and Pythagoras. While Plato wrote that everything in the Universe has base in basic geometrical shapes that comes from numbers, Pythagoras said everything is mathematically precise in the Universe, and each number is special with it’s own meaning (for more on this look up Doreen Virtue and number sequences, it’s pretty cool).
So I counted the sail boats. There were exactly 30.
It took me exactly one second to begin the thought, “what does the number 30 symbolize to me…” to have it hit me. My anxiety about turning 30. Silly or not, I have freaked out about turning 30 since 25, and even before that, as a precocious child, I remember feeling upset at the thought of turning ten, because it meant I was no longer a child, but had to act more like a mature kid. No idea where that fear or thought came from, but I feel like I’ve been carrying it around a very long time.
So, I laughed again. I sat and looked at those gorgeous boats and realized something.
Each one of those boats had it’s own personality – some were colors like blue and red or yellow, while others were small and white, or large and white with many people on board like tiny dots. Each one seemed so special that I couldn’t pick a favorite, which is another thing I like to do with groups of items.
To me in that moment, each one symbolized a precious year of life – some were big and beautiful, while others were small and tilted like they were overcoming many obstacles and learning new lessons.
Each one had a team of people on board, some large, some tiny, but all had friends and family on board. In my eyes, this symbolized how each year involves different family and friends that give out love and adoration – and each sail boat had very specific people on board. Different years, different experiences with life and the people that walk in and out.
Each one was purposefully planned yet left to the elements, specifically involved and there as a student or a teacher. Each boat sailed on despite the obstacles, absence or presence of certain people and joy experienced. Each one was more beautiful than the next.
To gaze at the boats as a whole, as a group, was stunning. Mesmerizing even. As in, how lucky are we as people to have the number of years we do on this earth? Each one special; full of difficult lessons learned, yes, but so special and beautiful and unique. And a blessing.
I realized how thankless I had looked at life – to be upset to have one more year of experience, love and time with those I love. To be so unaware of the blessings that come in and out of life with every surprising year.
I made my mind up in that moment to be forever grateful instead of thankless and depressed at each birthday. Each year to hold new experiences and people. No more ungrateful, pity-party birthdays.
My eyes drifted over the blue sky and settled on a fuzzy shape of the moon lit slightly during the day. Almost blurred into the blue-sky background, I laughed out loud again. I love the moon, and every time I see it I can’t help but recite the poem, “I see the moon and the moon sees me…” I have no idea why, but I know I see it as a little gift each time I notice it in a new light.
Just to be sure, the Universe had one more bit of love. I looked down at the ground as I walked away, and by chance saw a rose petal. Under normal circumstances I would ignore the natural shedding of nature. However, that very week, I was writing my blog post on the heart chakra, something I focused on improving in my own life. The heart chakra is often associated with essential oil with Rose scent, or tea from rose hips. This did not go unnoticed then with me, especially because no families on the beach around me had flowers. Again, I choose to see the meaning, rather than brushing off the beauty.
I hope you read this with an open mind and an open heart. To view age and universal communication-gifts in a different light. To see the artistry of the mystery rather than poo-pooing everything. To have more fun in the dance through life. Stop, notice, acknowledge, smell the roses, and just maybe count the boats too.
Paz y luz,
What little love messages have you seen in the past week? Have you ever noticed them before?