Last summer in Tybee Island, Georgia on a dark night with clear skies, stars, and a full moon I walked along the edge of Tybee Island. I had wandered down the dark streets of the little town on Tybee and found a small path to an empty beach clear of footprints with just one old lifeguard stand, perfect for looking over the dark waves that lovely June night.
As I stepped onto the soft sand, I felt my heart skip a beat. As I remember from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding written by Hume, the author writes about having the need to feel and explore when he walks. This need was what fed my body as my feet carried me across the beach. I ran in and out of the shallow water under the moonlit skies, either jumping into it or running from its little waves. Splashes, along with the cool breeze hit my face. I’d never felt so alone but at peace in my life.
I think this was because I’d never gone on walks, let alone a walk on the beach in the middle of the night by myself. The feeling was indescribable and nourished my soul. My barefoot feet carried me along the coast as I picked flowers on bushes, placing them in my hair as it blew in the wind. I felt as if I wanted to stay in that moment forever. The waves crashed calmly, filling the air with a salty, familiar aroma. The wind surrounded my body with gusts of warm hugs, ensuring everything would be okay.
As Hume had written; “I feel my mind all collected within itself.” This perfectly describes how I felt that night. My heart beat slowly as I walked alone with never ending thoughts for miles. It was almost overwhelming, I felt so small as I looked around at the dark, endless sky and ocean. Waves in the distance crashed as glimmers of moonlight reflected off them, sparkling on their crests.
I thought about the life I was living and the life I wanted to live in this lifetime. I felt like I could do anything in that moment and the possibilities were endless. It brought amongst the strongest sense of happiness and clarity I’d ever felt. I was free and for once I felt like everything I’d been taking in was beautiful. As Hume also said, “I am uneasy to think I approve of one object, and disapprove of another; call one thing beautiful, and another deform’d; decide concerning truth and falsehood, reason and folly, without knowing upon what principles I proceed. I am concerned for the condition of the learned world, which lies under such a deplorable ignorance in all these particulars.” I felt like I’d finally seen the beauty life has to offer in every opportunity after being faced with so much ignorance within myself and others.
Hume thought people were conditioned to incline judgement upon those they don’t know or understand simply because they can. In reality, if you know nothing in the situation, you shouldn’t form an opinion on something or someone based on what you see. An example relevant to today’s world is the strict beauty standards that often limit the amount of people that can be considered ‘pretty’ or ‘handsome’. People are conditioned, because of the standards, to think someone who doesn’t look ‘normal’ isn’t beautiful. In reality, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Anything can be good looking in your eyes, it just depends on your perception of it. Thinking otherwise is ignorant and shows you lack an open mind. That night I felt like I’d been seeing everything for the first time, like I was a kid. The trees were so tall and old, I looked up at them and imagined them growing into the dark sky for miles.
I must’ve walked for three hours that night. My mind felt clear of all problems, like everything I’d once worried about seemed so unimportant, so small. I never realized how impactful a walk can be on your mind and soul, especially after analyzing the texts we’ve been reading. The healing powers it provides for your mind is like none other. Ever since this night I’ve naturally resorted back to my childlike perception I was so desperate for. I now enjoy and look for every opportunity life has to offer now that I realized the possibilities are endless and life is only getting started.