In challenging times I tend to seek comfort and inspiration in quotes. I find that generally
whatever I may be thinking or wish to say has already been said in a more eloquent way than I
could ever muster. So let’s start with a quote.

“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.”
― G.K. Chesterton

We find ourselves living in troubled times, it’s important to keep sight of normality and maintain
positive spirits any way we can. Even under the restrictions we currently live there are plenty of
ways to stay happy and healthy.
I’ve spent most of my life living close to the coast. It has been a part of my life in a variety of
ways. From long sunny days at the attractions as a boy or contemplative walks as a man, I’m
drawn to the coast in good times and bad.
I have always found the sights and sounds of the sea comforting, the relentless rumble of the
waves, the methodic roll of the water. A wonderful calmness sweeps over me while walking the
Lytham St Annes coast line.
The sea, like the world, is ever changing. It can be an unpredictable and violent place. But the
rough waters like the calm, are always passing by, never here to stay. I find this thought very
comforting, it makes me realise no matter how bad things may seem, they will soon change. The
bad times will soon be swept away out of sight like driftwood under the changing tide.

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.”
― Christopher Reeve

I doubt I am the only one that seeks comfort by our coastline. I’ve always been struck by the
friendliness of strangers by the coast. No where else do I ever interact with so many strangers
while out walking. These interactions have reduced, and take place at a greater distance, under
the pressure of social distancing but thankfully have not died out completely yet.
It got me thinking about ways I could interact with strangers and hopefully spread some positivity
while obeying the rules of current life. I walked down a familiar patch of Lytham St Annes beach
and pondered the thought. I turned it over in my head as you might turn over a stone in your
hands. An idea started to solidify in my mind.

“In a time of destruction, create something.”
― Maxine Hong Kingston

I picked up a handful of rocks, dusted off the sand and took them home. The next week I
returned to the beach and re-homed the stones I had taken. The surface may change but deep
down things remain the same.
Maybe you’ll see one of these stones while out walking the dog, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll
unearth one building a sandcastle with the kids. Maybe one will wash up on a distant shore.
Maybe one will go into the foundations of building something new. Maybe you’ll leave some
stones of your own. Whatever happens to them, they are out there in the world and with a little
luck will brighten someone’s day.

“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.”
― Jim Henson

By C. S. Armstrong.

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