Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crustacean Elation

Last week we went on vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. During the day we visited parks, shops, museums, and of course the beach itself. A couple of times, our fifteen-year-old daughter Emily volunteered to babysit for us while Beth and I walked the beach at night. How different the beach is from day to night!

Daytime life at the beach includes sea gulls, sand pipers, scantily clad sun worshippers, and only the occasional sand crab. But the sand crabs rule the night! Everywhere we walked, sand crabs skittered across our path. Sandal-wearers beware! They're like cockroaches in a New York tenement. Some are the size of a quarter, but other gargantuan crustaceans lord it over their smaller siblings. These bullies of the beach disturb the peace everywhere you walk.

Or so I thought.

We were walking the beach at night, trying desperately to avoid these disgusting nuisances when we came across a young family with four children. Each child had a flashlight and a net, and they were having a blast in their nocturnal hunt. Kids were giggling, parents were smiling, and crabs were providing the evening's entertainment.

Then it hit me.

Crabs are only crabby in your mind.

Each of us has the ability to define our experience of the crabs in our lives. We can either let them disgust, threaten, and annoy us, or we can make them our entertainment. We can see them as the comic relief that they really are.

So I decided to celebrate the crabs in my life, and enjoy my crustacean elation.

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