Do you remember going to the beach with your parents, anxious all the way out to the water’s edge, racing down the wooden walkway without a care in the world, occassionally bumping into a stranger not so thrilled with your hurried pace, and the sheer joy of bounding into that cold water? Maybe it was the first time your parents took you to Disney that caused this rushed excitement, or climbing a mountain, or a solo hike up a local or faraway mountain! Either way, it was a dash filled with energy, excitement and and anticipation…and then at some point, arriving just doesn’t feel the same. You don’t run, you take time unpacking the gear from the car, the sun seems blinding, and God help us if the beach sand is too hot! Am I right? Thank God for flip flops! LOL
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, wondering where that excited personality has gone. For a stretch, during my North Carolina excursion, I believe I had rediscovered my excitement and spent hours walking the beaches, collecting shells and beach treasure, taking more photos than my camera batteries could handle, and writing consistently. I was completely inside myself, not caring that my children who should’ve been at the beach with me, were instead cooped up in their bedrooms playing XBox. I didn’t care that my husband, who walked along quietly beside me, had NO interest in the sense of self I found daily during our walks and photo taking sessions. It sounds selfish when I say it that way, that I didn’t care…and it’s not that I didn’t care, but that I had already invested too much time in why spending time with me at the beach, taking pics, strolling and lunging into the warm southern waters needed a reason or justification. Its warm – sunny – warm waters – surfers galore – smiling faces- late night concerts and fireworks – bright blue skies with marshmallow clouds- breathtaking sunsets with hues of pink, oranges, golds and purples that we should see and participate in. Who would want to miss those experiences? Was it simply that I could engage in my world, lose myself to experiences of the senses, and not require shopping and cash expenditure that the rest of my family could not get onboard?
Anyway, I believe I have again rediscovered that sense of excitement. I’ve been reading a book, A Walk on the Beach, by Joan Andersen in which she befriends Joan Erikson. Joan A has escaped to the Cape for a year of finding herself, and Joan E is a long time resident. Together, they begin to unwind the fragmented elements of Joan A’s life…help her rediscover herself, find her voice, lavish in her strengths, and escape the roles of being the wife, mother, and female in today’s professional world. Together they have adventures on large and small scales and celebrate their femininity, rejoice in every sensual (ie 5 senses) experience, and live together and independently in each moment….that is what we all need, isn’t it? A playmate and codreamer, someone who celebrates with us yet shoots straight from the hip, someone who feels our sorrows with us but can pull us up from the depths, someone who believes so strongly in who we are that we can’t fail…someone who gives us the courage to be the woman we have always dreamed of being.
My husband will tell you that all the books and movies are written from a Female perspective, that the men of the world have become lazy XBox players handing their world over to the women. And while I appreciate his frustration, I’m ready to break out my current mode and get back that excitement. I don’t care about XBox, and the fact that men are being surpassed by women is simply evolution! And in an ever evolving and changing world, why I should I be left behind? Whew, there, I said it! Why should I not be climbing my own mountains, taking on my own challenges and adventures, be daring enough to dream more and implement those dreams more often, take my best pictures ever, find the softest and warmest sands out there, collect the coolest most delicately fabulous shells out there, and write until my mind is empty and my fingers ache. I’m there and I’m ready.
So take a walk with me, will you? Look for photo opportunities, adventurous terrains, unexplored territory, shells for miles…and celebrate and commiserate with me when my fingers ache and my mind is like a cavernous hole! Become a codreamer…no contracts or signatures required. Walk along beside me, and listen as my faded voice echoes out in bursts or melodies. I’m done being a passenger…my hiking boots are my Christmas gift to myself, new camera batteries, maybe even a new laptop should I walk into the right bargain. It’s time for me to rediscover myself, again take joy in taking photos, find the courage and strength to give my censored voice a canyon in which to yell, and most importantly, to find once again a love in life, nature, being, sensing, and experiencing! It may be a short run, a 5k, or a marathon…it’s the journey I’m craving, pavement pounding into my metaphorical sneakers, and crossing each finish line exhausted, out of breath, covered in sweat and smiling. I’ll be a little more myself, more true to me, have more to talk about, maybe find a friendly soul or codreamer or spirit along the way.