We had a plan: milk these three beach weeks until the very end. A good plan, considering the 16 straight days of sunshine. A plan destined for an untimely demise in the face of Florence the Relentless.
Tomorrow we’ll leave, two days early, while the sun still shines. While the brutal winds and surf continue to gather strength to the east. While there’s still a semblance of normal for everyone who lives here year round.
It’s time to go, pick up the reins of life at home and leave this little sandbar until the calendar brings us back to summer. I look harder to find the sun at home, peeking around the angles of our neighborhood for a glimpse of color, of light. I need to work for dawn when I’m home instead of stepping up a few steps into the rose and gold and orange and silver gift handed to me daily since the end of August.
So I’ll work a little harder to find dawn and breath and calm. And I’ll keep an open heart and mind that the sandbar makes it through another onslaught to welcome us back again.
I count on a stretch of time at the beach just to sit and listen. Depending on her mood, the ocean soothes in quiet laps. It spits and snarls out the last of storms far beyond the horizon I see from my little perch. It teases small children determined to make the waves in the shallows bow to their dominance. It buoys surfers ranging from wobbly beginners to lithe, confident riders who swing up, cruise in.
Quiet or loud, placid or tempermental, the ocean is constant in its reach and withdrawal.
I count on a stretch of time at the beach to just sit and watch. The sky fascinates morning to night (even as I avoid the midday). Dawn is a rowdy orange and vibrant pink that give any sunset a run for the money. Dawn is gray and lavender stealing the dark from the sky. Dawn is water that reflects steel then silver that gives way to blue under the relentless rise of the sun every day.
Evening offers a soothing stretch of quiet that waits for the moon rise and the stars to blink on. The mind lets go of the day as the lungs breathe in the salt air in rhythm with the surf. And when the stars blink into focus, you recognize how small we are.
I begin each day in the dark before dawn, I end in the dark after sunset. Constant, unceasing watch over ocean and sky, to fill the soul before heading back in to start or end the day.
When I’m not here, the surf still dances on the sand. The sun still rises, the moon still glides in waxing and waning grace.
My job is to dip into the overflowing soul and remember the constancy of the surf, the sun and the moon. And breath in and out in unison.
A while back, for 100 weeks, I wrote a Thursday post I titled Mileposts in the Distance. One hundred little slices of a life featuring crossroads, empty nests, half-marathons, family, dying swans and stashes of makeup. Why did I stop? At the time I’d convinced myself there was little left to say without repeating myself.
A good joke that, from a person who retells stories at the drop of the hat.
The itch to create strengthened over the past year. But in order to create, you must show up on a routine basis.
I’ve blown back the cobwebs, resuscitated Mileposts (at least on Thursdays) and taken back this space. No plans other than to show up here on a very regular basis and talk about what’s on my mind.
The sun is a reclusive diva this May. It hides behind lowered, gloomy, dour clouds until it decides to blaze through the gray in the waning moments of day and tease the eyes with gorgeous light. It takes that promise below the horizon only to reconsider through the night and shroud itself at the next dawn.