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The Magic of Making a Decision

Birubi Beach, New South Wales, Australia
Birubi Beach, New South Wales, Australia

When a solitary walk along the beach holds a special message

The other night, I headed out to my local beach for a long walk – or rather a walking meditation as it tends to be.  The tide was in.  No one was prepared to put the effort in to walk alongside the Birubi Beach sand dunes and sink down to their knees.  So, I had the beach all to myself. 

Birubi Point is a popular spot for surfers and features an extensive sand dune system – the largest moving coastal sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere.

For whatever reason, on this occasion, I saw litter left on the beach, so I bent over to pick it up.  Because I’d only just started my walk, and with no bins close by, I shoved what I picked up into my coat pocket.

Feeling good about my gesture to “do the right thing”, I decided I’d keep on a roll.  That any litter I see left behind by tourists and locals, I’d pick it up!

And because I was very much in this state of mindfulness, of feeling one with the foaming sea kissing my feet, the hooded plovers bracing themselves against the strong South Westerly, the sun losing its bite on my exposed skin, it all felt rather magical. 

It didn’t take long for my pockets to fill up with discarded trash coated in sand.   

What struck me as ‘unusual’ was how the litter seemed to light up.  It became super easy to spot.  I can’t explain how come.  But it struck me, at the time, how half-hidden rubbish on the beach illuminated such that I didn’t have to work hard to find it.  It kind of found me!

With pockets filled to overflowing, I stumble across a plastic bag half buried in the sand.  I use an incoming wave to loosen the sand the bag had collected. Then decide it’ll do to hold all the rubbish I’d collect. Having a bag would also allow me to keep grabbing more and more rubbish left behind on what can only be described as an absolutely stunning beachscape.

In no time, the plastic bag is chockers!  I can’t fit another scrap in it.  And tucked under my arm is a sizeable piece of foam that might have fallen off a fishing boat.  By this time, I’d walked for at least an hour.  There was no way I could continue picking up litter from the beach.

Then I find a blanket of sorts tangled in the sand.  I tug to loosen it.  And I now I’m laughing out loud. Because I just KNOW this is Spirit urging me on. I hear a voice in my head loud and clear – “Don’t stop, keep going!”

So, I unload all the junk I’d picked up into the rug, including the large section of foam, and tied the four corners together so I could sling it over my shoulder.  Now the job of picking up litter just got a little easier. 

The weight of the blanket was heavy with trash I’d collected.  Needless to say, it was a tougher walk heading back than when I set out. 

But as I turned around to head back to the Surf Lifesaving Club, I was gifted an insight that bestowed on me a broader perspective that made my heart contract. 

I saw HOW my life’s journey thus far was just like this little exercise of picking up trash on my local beach.

When I’d set out on my path three years ago to leave my long marriage and start again, I had no idea how I would figure it out.  But in making the decision, and bravely walking in the direction of this new life I could not yet see but felt drawn to, the right people showed up and the right places shone brightly to guide my way.  The opportunities and tools I needed to grow and expand within the world I occupied appeared every time.

That experience on Birubi Beach has stayed with me.  I felt this expansive communion with a collective consciousness bigger than the small me.   And I understood I really wasn’t alone out there. 

Wishing you all lots of love and light on your journey.

Catherine (Cat) Farrar

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