Visiting Southwold is one of my pleasures. This small seaside resort is on the east coast of Suffolk where the river Blyth flows out into the North Sea. The pier, prom and beaches are some of the attractive features of this holiday retreat. My favourite section of the beach to visit incorporates the harbour. There is a large car park, dunes, and beach on the northern side of the harbour wall and Walberswick on the opposite side of the river with an undulating beach suitable for paddle-boarding, surf boarding and windsurfing. The tide rising and ebbing on the beach on the Walberswick side of the river is a sumptuous feeding ground for gulls and terns. If I time it right, I will watch a frenzy as these birds enjoy the crustaceans that the tide washes up on the beach and leaves behind as it ebbs.
I am amazed at the timing of small flocks of these birds as they fly in, stand on the beach and wait for the appropriate moment to dive en masse to gorge on these crustaceans. How do they know, not only the timing of the feast, but whether the banquet is going to be there? As quickly as they come, so they leave, signalling the feast is over. I thought how different I am to those birds and I am sure, as I write, that many will equate with my reaction when I see something good. In my caution, I weigh up whether or not to participate in a seemingly good opportunity.
I am reminded of the many, many times I take the same stance when shopping. I see something that I would like and then, after deliberating for a while, walk out with nothing in my hand, convincing myself that I need to have a good think and then come back to purchase what I think I would like. The trouble is, when I go back, often that item is not for sale anymore. As I walk away, I convince myself it was not right to have it anyway. It is just possible that I missed an opportunity because I spent too long working out whether it was right or wrong. Sometimes I think it would do me good to be like those birds, to take the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy myself, to spoil myself with a purchase or even take a risk, not knowing the outcome, rather than finding out that I had missed a very worthwhile opportunity.