I sat on a log at the beach, spending twenty minutes in quiet contemplation. I let my thoughts come and go. It was peaceful and relaxing, and much needed.

I returned to the present moment, unaware of what pulled me back. I watched the waves break along the small river jetty and on the sand in front of me. Across the inlet, the waves ran up against a cement wall, built to keep the higher land and small home from eroding into the sea. I knew the sea would “win” over time. With each crashing wave, another small piece was worn away. In time, certainly many years, the wall will crumble into the sea.

But the sea was not in a battle with the wall. The waves that appeared to be assaulting it had traveled hundreds of miles, searching their own path of least resistance. Today, those paths ended against the wall. The sea, knowing only its pure self, went as far as it could without fear, without hate, or without malice. Upon reaching an abrupt end to its forward journey, it turned back on itself, neither loving nor hating the wall, only knowing its new direction, only knowing itself.

I thought of my present journey in life, over forty-five years in the making, and wondered what it would be like if I were more like the sea. That if along my path, as I encounter my “walls,” could I behave in a similar fashion: without fear, without hate, without malice and without attachment? Would I be able to accept the path of least resistance, not in the manner of giving in, but in the functionality of only doing what needs to be done? Could I move on without worry of winning or losing, of poverty or riches, or of acceptance or rejection?

The ocean waves seemed to be rejected by the wall, but it did not change itself. It merely changed the direction in which it was traveling. As I got up to leave, I thought of this and smiled. Now I have a new direction in my life, and will proceed without fear. Upon meeting the walls in my life, I will no longer try to break them down. I will simply change direction and not worry about changing myself.