The Pace of Sand

“Heart-Shaped Rock” | Anthony Satori

The thing about walking in sand is that you simply cannot rush. Each step takes time. Each step requires attention. You can choose a destination 10, 20, or even 100 feet away, but each step will only take you incrementally closer – slowly, deliberately – and you must make each stride mindfully and with care, so as to keep your balance and to keep yourself moving in the right direction. It is an exercise in patience. It is an exercise in presence. It is an exercise in Zen.

Sometimes you may think, “I will double my effort, triple it, maybe even multiply it five-fold.” But every such increase, even the most emphatic, tends to add at most maybe 5 or 10 percent to your speed – certainly not enough to be worth the additional expenditure of energy, not to mention the attendant elevation of stress, both physical and mental. Therefore, in the end, you eventually discover that your best strategy is merely to take it slow, to expend a reasonable amount of effort with each new step, and to move forward with calm, intention, and purpose – at the pace the sand will allow.

One of the delightful benefits, of course, of walking in sand in such a mindful manner is that sometimes you see things that you might have missed otherwise. Like a rock… shaped like a heart.

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