Arriving at the beach on Hilton Head Island early one Saturday morning, when the tide was out and hardly anyone was there except a few people walking in the crisp, cool morning air. My little, white Maltese dog was so excited and ready to run free. Taking off her leash, with music playing loud in my ears with a rocking rhythm, I began power walking and dancing my way up the beach with the sun glistening on the water and sand. Turning around and making sure she was following me, she was keeping me in her sight as she let me get further and further away, and then as fast as a rocket, she would tear after me with her long white fur blowing straight back as she ran full speed to catch up. Again and again she played that game, wait, stop, and sniff, run fast after me, wait again, then run fast after me again. We did that until we had arrived at a craggy rock pier, a mile and a half or so from where we had started. Distracted by the sights and smells of the interesting rocky area we had reached, she disappeared, but when I started heading back and called the distance for her to come again, she popped up from between the giant rock crevices that dwarfed her tiny body, and tore after me again.
Our morning walk at the beach was now over. Thirsty and exhausted, we headed to the car. I reached for my keys but when I did my iPhone was missing! It had slipped out of the case I keep it in somewhere on the miles of sandy beach! I was upset, and with the tide coming in and the crowds arriving, could I possibly find it again? I pictured it laying in the sand with the incoming tide now washing over it, or now that the crowds were arriving, someone stepping on it and burying it deeper in the sand. I immediately put a leash on my little dog and walked back down to the beach announcing to everyone who was there as I went, “I have lost my iPhone! Please let me know if anyone finds an iPhone on the beach somewhere!” During this frustrating point in time I did something that I have learned to do when I begin to feel sudden panic or insecurity about things seemingly going awry in my life. I stop for a moment, look up, and refocus my mind, and I think about faith in creative possibilities and divine guidance, and then I silently ask the “unseen” ones around me for their help. I looked down at my tired little dogs dark eyes and told her we now needed to walk up the beach to look for an iPhone. A young man on the crowded beach yelled to me and said, “Someone said a woman with a child found a cellphone near the rock wall, over a mile away”. Thank heavens, I thought! Now we need to get to her before she leaves the beach! We began to run when I saw 3 people riding bicycles along the shore and asked if they could help me. “No” they said, showing me a watch on one woman’s arm, “We need to be somewhere in 15 minutes.” “Oh well, its okay,” I told them, and we ran further up the now crowded beach. I could barely see the rock wall that juts out into the Atlantic at one end of the Island, where the young man told me the woman and child were last seen in the distance. I spotted another man coming towards me on a bicycle and asked him if he could possibly turn around and drive his bicycle back up the beach towards the rock wall to see if there was a woman there with a child who had found my iPhone. He kindly agreed, and turned around and headed slowly back down the beach towards the rock wall. My little dog and I continued running our way along the beach after him and suddenly he turned around and headed back before he had reached the craggy rock pier. When he reached me he said “I did not see a woman with a child anywhere.” I then asked him if he had a cell phone that I could use to call my iPhone, he kindly said “Yes”, and handed me the small device.
I called and a woman answered. She had found my iPhone at the beach earlier but needed to leave and did not know what to do, so she took it with her. I told her I was glad she did, and that I would get it from her later that afternoon. “Please keep it nearby and I will call you again, and thank you!” I gave the man on the bicycle back his phone, and I then immediately thought of the miles back up the beach to get back to our car ahead of us with this tiny dog, how exhausted she was, and I quickly laid my sweater in his bicycle basket and picked up my little dog and placed her in the basket on top of it. “Could you please carry her on the bicycle while I walk beside you because she is so tired from running on the the beach”. “I’ll give it a try, he said”, and began by wobbling back and forth almost throwing her out by trying to go slow enough so I could walk beside him, because the extra weight on his front wheel was making him lose his balance. I was afraid for a moment he would fall over! I then told him, “You need to go much faster to get going! I will run beside you!” Pushing harder, he finally got the old bicycle going along the beach quite well, as I walked quickly beside him while we had our first conversation. He enjoys his job driving a bus for students from a Christian College in Virginia, and when he has days off when they travel to places like Hilton Head, he enjoys going to the beach. He rented his bike from his hotel for only $20 for the entire week. When he became more comfortable with my little dog in his bicycle basket, I glanced at her, and I was pleased to see her sitting comfortably like a queen being driven in her coach. She was definitely enjoying her beach ride with her long white fur blowing back in the wind. I commented that I would like to take a photo while he drove her up the beach in his basket, but my iPhone camera was currently indisposed. I don’t know why, but a lighthearted thankfulness suddenly came over me, perhaps a gift from the “unseen” ones who I imagined were around me now laughing hysterically!
That afternoon when I arranged to finally meet the nice woman who had my iPhone, we chatted for a while and laughed at the interesting ways we meet people when we travel. It is always a challenge when we leave our familiar surroundings. Faith shows us that our actions and reactions can be supported and uplifted by our conscious remembering our spiritual connectedness to all things, and that we can be gently carried along on our path if we take a moment to ask the “unseen” for help, even for finding an iPhone on miles of beach sand on a crowded Saturday morning.