Heading to my local beach, I grabbed my constant companion- a bag with bottled water, protein bar, zipped bag of index cards and, the essential thin jacket. With ocean winds continually changing the weather in a blink, I never leave home without it.
The water lapping quietly against the shoreline stood in stark contrast to my earlier morning stormy walk attired in my yellow rain jacket.
But, now, the once deserted beach was filled with weekend visitors of families with grandparents and young children in tow, all turning over rocks to view crabs before they scurried away or filling buckets of sand to design quickly crumbling sandcastles.
Gaining a joyful heart overhearing their laughter, I spotted several recently created Inuksuk on a beach log.
Balancing on the rocks almost in front of a bench to capture a photo, someone asked :
“Would you like a picture of you with them”
Turning to the voice, there sat three older gentlemen on a bench, all with broad smiles.
“No thanks. Aren’t these Inuksuk amazing! OH, wait- Did you three make these incredible Inuksuk? ”
” No, but we watched the engineering ten year old lad who did.”
“These are incredible. i wish I knew how he choose his stones, in what order, to determine how to build each sculpture. He’s balanced each individual rock ever so carefully, matching not only flat edges but pointed ones as well.”
With my few spoken words, we looked together at them in shared awe.
Before long, the tall casual but elegantly attired Ben graciously stood so I could sit with ruggedly white bearded Bob, whose demeanour conveyed he just may play guitar in a band- oh, and he did- and beside the Italian gentlemen Gino, with his welcoming smile and quiet questions about my life and passions. Discussions of photography and light headed into how they knew one another.
Surprisingly, they were all from different parts of the ‘big city’ and had only recently connected through one to the other to the other via their mutual interests of classical cars, like Jaguar, and ‘old school’ watches, or so the millennials call them. Ben proudly showed not only his recent watch purchase but also his watch with a Jaguar emblem on it. The quest for a good watch maker had brought them into my area, and then onto this beach bench.
After a time, the ocean winds shifted, bringing cooler air and Gino, attired in only thin plaid shorts and shirt, began to shiver.
Immediately, I grabbed my jacket .
“Please use this,” I said, as I quickly covered his shoulders, not with a jacket of shocking pink, ( too bad), but satin black with blue splash, thin but sufficient to ward his chill.
They seemed incredulous I did so, yet , doesn’t genuine human connection always create communal care for one another.
After an hour of talking , we noted Gino’s renewed shivering and headed to Martino’s Cappuccino Coffee Bar for coffee and hot chocolate.
While it is challenging to engage with three, or rather, I should say four, individually intriguing life stories in a cramped coffee booth, we managed until the friendly owner reluctantly informed us it was closing time.
Walking back to my car, after reciprocating warm friendly hugs with three gentlemen I’d met just two hours previously, I reflected on the ease of our connection.
But, really, it was the Inuksuk, after all, who had acted as our introduction.
Inuksuk means that which acts in the capacity of a human, and we human beings are not unlike rocks with multiple edges. Each one of us is an Inuksuk. In that coffee booth, we were building with care various facets and commonality, even as we carefully turned pointed edges down to listen with engagement and appreciation to each others’ interests and lives.
My delightful evening began with the serendipitous moment I admired and took time to photograph a young boy’s amazing Inuksuk building skills.
It only became more when these gentlemen warmly embraced a woman who stepped into their field of vision. They choose being fully present to the moment to make a new connection and new friendship.
My life motto of Living life in Crescendo simply means this : An openness to being present to unexpected glorious moments of human interconnection.
I am grateful these men gifted themselves and shared their lives with me.
May we meet again.