I took a walk on the beach at Sullivan's Island early this morning and I was just overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. Nothing significant had happened or triggered the feeling I am still reeling from just an awareness and deep appreciation for all the people that have made a contribution for what I enjoy every day.
When I started out I was actually trying to shake off the pain I live with. In the past I've broken my neck, back and right leg. I've grown to accept that each morning, I roll the dice with what condition I'll be in when I wake up. Sometimes it's crippling, and I have to use a cane to get from the bed to the bathroom. Old injuries aren't getting any better with time. My neck seems to be affected the worst by spasms and sometimes pulls to the side. I fear someday I'll be confined to a wheelchair looking like Steven Hawking, only in my case without the mental horse power. Today wasn't that extreme, but still an effort to get going.
So I thought I'd take a little of my own advice and suck it up and walk it off. I managed to get up and about and drove out parking on an access roadway. I plugged in the headphones on my iPhone and launched a playlist and began to walk. Maybe the wind or the sea sparks an inspiration to push through the first 1/4 mile and the tempo from music in my ear helped establish a comfortable pace. The sound of the waves braking between songs is such a soothing pause. Before long I had walked all the way around to where I could view the City of Charleston across the harbor.
The wind was at my back and I ducked behind a sand dune to sit and watch the sun wake the city. I could help being thankful for all that I had in my life. The music sounded so great and clear. A high digital sampling rate accented every breath of the artist, every instrument in the song. I thought for a minute, thank you Steve Jobs you absolutely nailed this phone. And then I thought of all the people who had made a contribution, the designers, engineers and all the other unsung heroes that made a contribution in their lifetime to making the world a better place for everyone.
My mind raced to the soldiers that defended this port, the people that cleared the land, those that built the city I now call home, and everyone that made a contributing effort to allowing me to enjoy this moment and all the great people I have in my life. There's so many I could even list them or even begin to, the rush of all theses ideas and pieces of technology building upon each other was overwhelming. Hopefully each of us add a little something along the path of our lives to make it a little easier for the next guy. Walking back it occurred to me that in the end, that's all you can really hope to do. I don't know if the guy that invented the tennis ball realized how much joy he brought into a dog's life, but he nailed that too.