Flirting with Disaster

While sitting on the beach on the Delaware shore, I was watching the sandpipers. Sandpipers are interesting little creatures. They are small and appear quite delicate and fragile. But they are not timid at all. In fact, they are quite brave and very perseverant. The sandpiper lives life literally on the edge. She stands right on the edge of the surf, running in and out of the water’s edge with the ebb and flow of each wave. As the wave breaks and then recedes, the sandpiper follows just behind the foamy lip of the wave, pecking at the sand for the little sea creatures buried therein. And she stays there, pecking and eating, retreating only at the very last millisecond as the next wave comes in. If her timing is off in the tiniest way, she risks being overcome by the wave and possibly knocked down and battered about. But the sandpiper doesn’t worry about that. She doesn’t hold back or stand a safe distance beyond the breaking waves; no, she is forever right on the edge, at the cusp of disaster, hoping for the greatest benefits.

I want to live my life more like a sandpiper. I don’t want to, out of fear, stand a safe distance back from the danger and possible disaster. If I play it too safe, I won’t be able to reap the greatest rewards. Sure, I may, on occasion, get knocked down, rolled around on the bottom, perhaps get water in my mouth and sand in my feathers. If I am overcome and knocked down, I will most likely survive, and probably learn to judge the waves a little bit better. But if I am brave enough to court disaster, I will also reap the sweetest and freshest rewards life has to offer. Bring on the waves!

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