Which would you choose to do: watch your money gush out of your savings account because of a Wall Street debacle or watch the water flow out of Cape Cod Bay so you can walk across one of the largest tidal flats in the world? I doubt you'll be surprised to hear I chose #2.
It was an easy choice to make. First because walking on the tidal flats was a Never B4. Second, because there's something truly repulsive about CNN's Wolf Blitzer telling me my 401k could soon be worthless. Third (and most importantly) because witnessing the ebb of the tide seemed fitting for a weekend trip that was spurred by a bigger loss than anything Wall Street could deliver. I was in Brewster, Massachusetts to grieve the passing of my father-in-law, a man who endured our first depression, survived all WW II had to give and was finally able to enjoy the best life has to offer -- the love of a wife and family.
As Dave and I left the dry sand of Breakwater Beach and walked out onto the spongy tidal flats, emptiness enveloped us. Yet, so did a pulse of activity. I quickly noticed that in the wake of the retreating bay, the remaining streams of water were carving delicate patterns in the sand. The expanse of absence that first overwhelmed me, was replaced by intricate beauty that begged closer inspection.
I'm told the Cape Code tidal flats are rivaled only by a handful of others. I don't doubt it and who knows maybe someday I'll walk those too. But for now, I'm happy to have experienced this Never B4 at the moment I did, because it's made me realize that there's incredible beauty to be found in absence.
Whether that sentiment will apply to my 401k, suffice it to say I haven't found any remarkable beauty there yet - but I'm still looking.