Guest Blogger: My Daughter Kira (seen here in Rwanda)

Imagine you are roaming the sandy and calm place that is the beach. Picture what you see, feel, smell, and hear. Don’t you feel like you’re right there in the midst of the wind rushing by your ear.

If you squint your eyes closely you can almost see the waves crashing against the shore. When I was little I always thought of the way the waves would glide. It reminded me of a graceful ice skater gradually sailing across a rink.

As you look up you think you’re going to see the deep blue sky. But, what you come upon is your eyes getting lost in a sea of kaleidoscopic kites. Then, if you look ground level you can see dogs. One’s that are chasing and barking at seagulls, digging to their hearts desire, and simply just strutting across the wet sand like they own the place.

The feeling of wind gives me a rush of adrenaline. It’s like when you’re at the climax of a roller coaster then all of a sudden you just drop.

I look down to see a shell that caught my eye. It’s bright orange and white, I pick it up and it has a rough texture. Like the gristly sensation of a broken teacup. If you put your hand down in the damp and freezing sand, it almost feels like its grabbing you; taking you to a whole other world on the opposite side.

What kinds of scents do you receive? Is it the scent of salty water? That consumes the air like when a bakery completes a fresh loaf of bread and the baker opens the windows of the shop. Then a breeze comes and drifts in the scent of a camp fire. I inhale the smell of burnt wood and pretend I can feel the warmth of the fire in this bitter cold. As the breeze passes a new one whips by. And occasionally a light unpleasant smell will appear, like a rotten fish that’s been sitting out for a couple of days.

A lot of the time you think you are just hearing the sound of the wind weaving in and out of your ear, but if you really focus in on your surroundings, you can hear a whole lot more.

Just close your eyes and listen to the seagulls caw. The ocean descending itself across the shore as if it wants to say “Hello,” to all people before being swept away. That crashing sound that it makes, if you put your mind in another place it’s more than just a crash. It’s a reminder of what we have been given, the gift of life.

What is life, but a vapor. It appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Without this gift of life we wouldn’t be able to experience things. Nor would we get to describe our experiences with others, know what even a beach is, and not even exist. I thank God everyday for creating this world and giving me this life.