Celebrating the Gift of Life
Summer dusk on the Kemah Boardwalk. Facing Galveston Bay.
Today I would love to share some powerful distinctions I’ve learned between circumstances and life itself.
Perhaps you’ve heard folks say “life is hard” or “life sucks”, etc.
During a particularly hard cycle I was going through, it occurred to me that life itself is an amazing gift.
It’s as if Creator gave me a green card called “go”, which took me to the amusement park rides circumstances bring.
So circumstances may be difficult, feel overwhelming or otherwise challenging. However, regardless of circumstance, Life itself always remains a gift. An ongoing opportunity for me to create and grow in spiritual wisdom.
The Metaphor of the Kemah Boardwalk:
Kemah is a coastal city southeast of Houston, Texas. During free times, I used to love going there for solace and peace.
The boardwalk felt like a romantic getaway from big challenges I was going through at the time.
The walk, shown in the photo above, for me is a metaphor for life and its opportunities.
On one side of the boardwalk lies a frenetic amusement park. Myriads of wild rides (including an upside down centrifuge) fill the space. Along with lots of screams, sometimes ear splitting noise, and energetic intensity.
The amusement park side: This ride stops mid-air, upside down. Riders face earth below, frequently screaming. The metaphor: Sometimes circumstances leave us hanging. And may feel quite scary.
To my other side… the healing peace of Galveston Bay waters, softly lapping the sea wall below me. (shown in the first photo) Its gentle humid warmth combines with tropical summer breezes, and a vast horizon which beckon my spirit to travel.
Walking between these two forces provided me with amazing contrasts of peace and frenetic activity.
During our life’s path, we have the freedom to choose how much of each we wish to imbibe in.
Feeding Life’s Opportunities:
An additional item of interest was a hole shaped like a box at one end of the boardwalk. Drop some fish food in there, and the waters inside the box transform to Medusa’s hair seething with goldfish. Gigantic goldfish, each desperately vying for food, trying to out- reach the other.
These fish represent for me the act of feeding life, giving energy to opportunities we uncover. And watching with awe as each one tries to rise to the top to be nourished.
Like the Kemah Boardwalk, life is the path we walk. Each side of our personal boardwalk allows us to choose and partake in various experiences.
So when things feel overwhelming or intense in your life, consider these as experiences, while keeping your personal gyroscope aimed high. Remember to give thanks for the blessing of life itself.
Giving thanks for the gift of life is the first thing I do upon waking up in the morning. And the last thing I say before going to sleep at night.
Regardless of what you may be going through at the time, I invite you to give thanks for the unique gift you possess, of life itself.
Copyright, Stephen Eric Levine, M.A. 2022