Beach combing, I’ve decided, is more about ideas than it is about shells. I walk along the sands in a meditative posture, hands clasped behind my back, head nodding forward, as if in prayer. My pace is leisurely, halting. I stop to contemplate pebbly deposits, toeing through the debris in hopes of finding…what? A lovely shell, for sure, but just as often I’m looking for inspiration.
Yesterday I took a long walk on the beach. A strong north wind roughened the water. The sun was newly up, playing peekaboo through the last of the night’s clouds. A lovely spot of purple caught my eye and I picked up a weathered fragment of clam shell, then two more.
Tumbling the shells in my hand, I was reminded of V. who makes art of “found objects” and B. who has taught me a lot in recent weeks about design thinking and building an intentional life. How might I use these shells? I wondered. Then: It’s not about the shells. It’s about the incoming – and the integration.
So I’ve given myself a challenge: for thirty days I’m going to pick a “find” each day — something I come upon: an object, a turn of phrase, a novel food item, whatever random thing might strike my fancy — and I’ll incorporate it into that same day in some way. Could be crafty, culinary, bloggy, anything. The idea is to do something with it — to revisit, interact, integrate, deepen my experience of what’s come into my path. Let the universe know: I’m paying attention.
I call it my Serendipity Challenge.
If you’re curious, you can check in on me here. Better yet, join me! Leave a comment on the page, let me know how it’s going.
The Challenge: Every day, for thirty days, “find” something and incorporate it.
The Big Idea: By being awake to the random treasures, novel ideas, new experiences and provoking thoughts in my day, how might my day continue to dawn? What happens when we integrate intention and serendipity?
The Small Print: All “finds” are eligible: visual, literary, sensual, intellectual, spiritual; stuff, feelings, etc. Incorporation must be accomplished within the same day; documentation may be delayed due to internet access. Incorporation need not be clever, artistic, profound or even remotely interesting. But I bet it will be.
One idea, thirty days, infinite possibilities.
Life Lesson #19: Only that day dawns to which we are awake. ~ Henry David Thoreau