The Joy of Simple Things
I am sure that the turtle can teach you a better way than the hare.
This quote is awesome! What a simple reminder to slow down and enjoy the journey. I love the beach. I love that I can be lazy. I love that I don’t have to think about anything. This weekend we had an opportunity to slip out of this craziness called Caracas and head to the sandy shores. Like a horse with a carrot dangling in front of its nose, I stayed focused. I planned and I checked things off of my list: beer, check, sunscreen, check, plantain chips, check, towels, check, cooler, check. We were set.
We needed to leave early Saturday morning to beat traffic. How early you ask? 6:30 early. I know, good thing we’re morning people, right? Now in reality, the beach isn’t far, but the traffic plays such a crucial role here that a 45 minute drive can take well over 3 hours. For the most part we were lucky. There weren’t any accidents and we made record time, just under an hour and a half.
After stopping off to get some empanadas and some well needed coffee, we dropped our stuff off at our friend’s condo and were on the beach just before 9. I understand how people love sunsets on the beach, but I prefer the mornings when the sun isn’t too strong, the beach isn’t crowded and the birds are searching for their breakfast.
Now I’ve been to enough beaches to know to apply sunscreen, but for some stupid reason I almost always forget to put it on one part of my body and at the end of the day I’m left scolding myself. I carefully applied the cream over my body, paying specific attention to my ankles (the former victims of my negligence). After waking up from a little snooze. Yeah, I had a nap…tee hee. Life is cruel, isn’t it? Don’t envy me yet. I discovered that unfortunately, this time was no different. I burnt my knees! Seriously, how did I miss them? They’re round, bony little things. Sigh. I think I need to make a check list for future applications.
Like a child, I was quickly distracted from my pain when I saw a vendor passing by selling jewelry. Normally I don’t ask them to come over because I feel bad if I don’t buy anything, but something blue caught my eye and I needed to see what it was. It was a pretty bracelet. I asked the guy to see it and he was obliging. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one with shells and some colored things that looked like little buttons(they turned out to be dyed coconut shell).
Anything natural with texture and color and I’m in. I think the most precious of art comes from nature or is at least inspired by it. I disregarded the first and focused all of my attention on the smooth shell creation. I tried it on and wasn’t at all surprised to find out that it was huge. I have child sized wrists. The guy said he could adjust it and sure enough he pulled out some scissors and a lighter. I put it on a second time, but for some reason I couldn’t figure how to remove it. He took it off of my wrist and told me that he’d make it better, prettier.
After settling in the sand to redesign my bracelet, we offered him something to drink while I keenly watched. He deftly thread the pieces on the string and tied knots at an amazing speed. His final design was simpler and indeed prettier than his last. I get so much joy when I look at it. I know it sounds weird. How can something that cost around $5 bring a smile to my lips? It’s difficult to explain. I get the same feeling when I’m in the woods staring at the leaves of a tree. One thing I know for sure is when I wear it I’ll remember him, the beach, the sun, but more importantly, it’ll act as reminder that the the simplest pleasures can be found almost anywhere.