I really believe that if our world leaders, our national leaders, and even our state and local leaders could come to the beach when there are disagreements, a lot of positive things could be achieved.
Have you ever noticed all of the conversations that take place when you walk along the beach? It seems that the open space gives everyone time to think more broadly. The rhythm of the waves is calming, and the ocean air is stimulating. Sometimes the beauty of it all just makes you stop in your tracks to take it all in.
For most people at the beach, it is time away from work. It is a time to re-arrange, prioritize, and put things into a new perspective. Just being away gives one a chance to see the pressing issues of the workplace differently. New ideas, new solutions, and new opportunities suddenly become as clear as the clearing skies after a summer shower. I believe that many of the folks I see walking alone, lost in thought, are engaging in that very important exercise, a conversation with one’s self.
Then there are couples ambling along. Being at the shore with no one else to compete for their attention gives them the chance to discuss the important issues they face – whether it’s a career move, a move to a new town, a move to start a family, or a move to make a big financial decision. I would wager many of these critical life-changing moves have their genesis along the shoreline, where the sand and water move continually.
There are fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, grandparents and grandchildren, and every combination you can imagine within a family, who find a walk to talk about the things that just don’t seem right to talk about in the confines of home. Affirmations, challenges, openness, and even confrontations seem to be more easily digested here.
Very few people can walk away from a beach conversation angry. To be fair, no doubt that does occur. But somehow, some way, the seashore works its magic, and by the end of the day, or the vacation, the wounds are healed, the unhappiness dissipates, and the future looks brighter.
My favorite conversations are the ones that involve laughter. Walking by, you see and hear friends and family members making the memories that will last a lifetime. They are not taking themselves too seriously as they realize that nothing in the world can compare to this time and this place. Their conversations radiate love and warmth, and understanding and forgiveness, and kindness and joy.
Given that, I truly believe that if we could just encourage our leaders to come to the beach and talk over the issues that are creating so much divisiveness, the world would be a much better place, don’t you?
Janet Morrow Dawson is the owner and operator of the Cape Hatteras Motel in Buxton, where her husband Dave is celebrating his 51st season there in 2022. She has lived full-time on Hatteras Island since 2015 and is celebrating her seventh season at the motel, however, she has been an Outer Banks fan since her family started coming to Hatteras Island for vacations in 1964.