Pardon the pun, but today has been a really good Friday, with me doing all the things I love; going to the beach, reading and writing. This morning I watched a fisherman catch a Hammerhead shark. I come from a family of fishers, so I was watching his line with interest when his pole began to bend just a bit. After a short fight he beached a rather small at about 2 feet, Hammerhead. I could tell from a distance since they have a distinctive shaped head, hence the name. Children and adults scurried over to view his catch and marveled at the shark’s size and odd-shaped head. They beckoned for others to come look. They tasted the danger, oh so near as the shark frantically twisted to escape the hook. Pictures were taken and the signature dorsal fin was touched by the kids as the adults continued to converse. Meanwhile the Hammerhead flapped about furiously and I continued to silently will the fisherman to throw him back. You see the catch and release game was in double triple overtime at this point. I come from people who thank the spirit of the animal that becomes his food. Throw him back or chop his head off already! I imagine the shark pleading, “Make a choice man! Let me go or let’s become one as I grace your dinner plate and nourish your body, continuing the circle of life!” Deprivation is a slow and painful death! I don’t know if sharks have thoughts like mine, but death PLEASE be swift if my time is up. Finally, and way past my hopes of the shark surviving, he was taken off the hook and thrown no less than 4 times, football style, into the surf, only to wash back in unable to even hitch a ride back to life. Deprived of that which was necessary, he flailed in vain. Beachgoers a hundred or so feet away pointed to the crashing waves and watched him wash in, motionless.
Deprived of that which is necessary for our survival (and/or sanity), the door to death is opened as we furiously flail like the shark. Almost to the door but caught in that caustic purgatory as we or someone else ( like the fisherman) walk away acting like we/they had no part in our senseless misery. As we forget to feed our souls, to eat healthy, to be physically active, to write, to read, to call that loved one, to make time for ourselves and others, we wallow in deprivation of the heart and soul. As we wallow, we become coated in a film of misery that clouds our life-lens, that makes us think about having grand pity-parties and oh my god yes, the proverbial grass is definitely greener over there, and there, and there, everywhere but here in our own yard, in the garden we plant, or don’t.
The lesson I received in my beach classroom today was first be good to yourself, to your heart and your soul. Don’t have a deprivation mindset. Plant a garden of plenty in your mind. Take stock, count your many blessings and be thankful. If you’ve been depriving yourself, get off that train! Take a new route. And let’s be good to each other on our communal trip around the sun. We’re in this together, no matter how much we may be oblivious to it or deny it. When the big engine breaks down, we’re going to be fast friends. There won’t be time for deprivation. Only cooperation, commiseration, communication, and realization that we’re all connected. The shark, the ocean, the fisherman, you, me. Let’s make a pact to do our best to practice kindness and anti-deprivation with ourselves and others.
Peace and Love