Friday, June 27, 2014

Reflections on leaving the beach

I am sitting in a darkened room, listening simultaneously to the soft sound of Russ breathing in the bed nearby and the washing machine running downstairs, waiting to be able to go and shift yet another load of wet towels before I go to sleep. 

I already know what tomorrow morning will be like—years of long experience have taught me not to hope for more than I’ve already experienced up to this point.  Not another walk on the beach, not another late breakfast after sleeping in, not another stolen swim.   Instead it will be a scramble.  We will scramble to eat, to wash the dishes quickly, to finish packing everything up and haul it out to the cars and pack it in.  If we are lucky we will be driving out of the driveway at 10, already hot and sticky, a caravan of beachy Cinderellas leaving the ball at the last possible moment while the clock strikes behind us.

Tomorrow morning will be hurried and hectic and sweaty.  For a couple of hours my sadness at leaving the beach will be camouflaged by the work-work-work of getting us all out of here.  But tonight, tonight while I sit in the dark, I mourn.

I’ve always felt sorrow at leaving the beach.  There are so many things to love here: the escape from regular life, time with friends, long lazy days, nights filled with games, the ocean I love so much.  But now the beach also seems symbolic—reminding me how our life has changed, remind me that things once taken for granted are now so difficult to achieve.

I can see that the only way through this is gratitude.  In this moment it is so easy to lose track and let the magnitude of this experience be eclipsed by my sorrow.  So instead I will remind myself what a privilege it is to have been here.  What a blessing to be able to afford not only to stay at the beach, on the beach, but also to have the means to travel here.  Yes, we made choices and sacrifices in order to be able to use our money this way, but to have the ability to make this choice and those sacrifices is a privilege.  When I focus on these thoughts my heart fills with gratitude—for the beach and the ocean, for our friends, for the house that sheltered us, for the safe travel at every step of the way, for life situations that allowed this. 

I am so very blessed to have experienced this week of beauty.IMG_4851

1 comment:

  1. Boy do I hear you. Yesterday we woke the family up early to catch a small boat with some of Brian's co-workers, and spent the day out on the ocean kayaking, jet skiing, paddle boarding, chasing needlefish, swimming, throwing a Frisbee... And then the evening was spent with just-hitting-that-sweet-spot friends BBQing and more kayaking off their backyard dock. It was an incredible last Saturday, and I had to remind myself several (several) times to let myself enjoy it instead of mourn that it was almost over. We live lucky lives, you and me...