I listen to instrumental music when I’m going to sleep.  It’s soft enough that it could be considered “white noise.”  I still catch bits and pieces of songs that I know, and somehow, the familiarity brings me comfort.

While on a trip to the beach for my anniversary, I listened to a different kind of night music – the constant rolling of the ocean waves.  There is no start or stop to the movement, yet each wave – like snowflakes is different than the one before.

Nature, both human and wildlife, react to the waves in different manners.  Birds, gulls in particular sit just at the edge of the water, close enough that the sand is damp and cool, but not so close that the waves touch them. 

Little children get closer – at first just enough for the water to tickle their toes.  Then they venture a little farther, a little deeper, until either a parent warns them to come back or a wave knocks them down – tumbling and fighting to right themselves and fill their lungs with sweet air.

It is only the brave adventurer who looks the tempest in the face and says, “I will conquer you.”

They are prepared, because they have learned from the waves.  They have been knocked down, but they have not given up.  They have worked and practiced to get where they are.  They have protective clothing against the frigid temperatures, and they carry tools to help them back to shore.  And they know the rush of a conquered wave is worth the risk.

And this is life.  We can choose how close we get to those waters.  Are we like the birds, content to see and feel, but not engage?  Or are we like the children who take joy in playing tag with life, hoping not to be upended?  Or, are we the adventurers who have prepared for what life can throw out, but are secure that the reward is worth the risk?