There are three types of beach walkers: those who walk looking down, those who walk towards the horizon and those who walk talking on the cell phone.

When I’m on vacation in Maui I enjoy walking on the beach and watching the people.  Those who stroll, searching the sand and rocks are alert for treasure.  On one walk, I stopped a lady and asked what she was looking for.  “Beach glass”, she said smiling, and opened her fist to show eight pieces of smooth, colored glass bits.  Treasure.  She turned, moved a piece of broken coral with her toe, bent down and picked up another gem.

Other people pass me with their eyes on the horizon.  They’re looking for fish jumping, turtle heads peaking up or dolphins.  Treasure.

But the walkers I don’t understand are those with cell phones to their ears who step over the waves and walk around the children playing in the sand.  They are far away and oblivious.  For them, there is no breeze, cool water, special shell or even hot sand.  There is only the distraction of somewhere else.

One of the things I’m trying to cultivate as an artist is awareness of everything around me.  Too often I focus on my destination and am blind to details: beauty, light, excitement, joy and discovery. I want to experience life as a treasure: bird calls, a kind word, the juxtaposition of lime green against purple, vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce.  Art does that for me…it makes me slow down, focus, create. Putting paint on canvas, being surprised by my creation, touching beauty.  I want to walk through each day with purpose, being aware of the colored bits of life.  Treasure.

What kind of walker are you? What do you see and what excites you today?  Have you experienced art in a way that gives you rest or helps you connect with another?  Treasure!