Today I got up early.
I'd read something about a solar eclipse and I thought I might take the big camera out and snap some pictures.
The alarm didn't go off quite when I'd planned, so I missed the eclipse. I was so busy being excited about getting out of the bus all by my lonesome (the rest of the family was dead asleep) with my green tea and camera and backpack filled with books and notebooks and a beach blanket that I forgot to bring the big camera.
I decided, as I walked along the sidewalk toward the beach, that I wasn't going to let it screw up my morning. And I wasn't turning back. I had too much to do.
I've been reading Women Who Run With the Wolves for the majority of our journey.
It's not like me to milk a book like that. I like to finish them in a couple of days at most. I read books voraciously. It's one of my favorite things. But this book was different. It required time away. It required extra digesting. It was one of those introspective life-changers. And it had convinced me that taking the time I needed to be me - apart from my family - really was important - and it wasn't something about which I needed to feel guilty.
Even though I'd missed the eclipse, the sun was still beautiful rising slowly over the water.
The night before my solitary journey, Maeryn and I had walked down to the beach as the sun was setting. She built a sandcastle and asked me if I got up early to please see what had happened to it as the tide washed over the shore.
I could still see the mounds where she was building. It made me miss her for a minute, and wish I had woken her up to go with me. We had talked about how many seashells there would be in the morning when the tide was low. I shook off that feeling and picked up some shells to bring back and show her when she awoke.
Walking, thinking, being alone... I had not done this for such a long time, and hardly ever in nature, even though I love being outside, the water, hiking, swimming...
The air was clean. I felt... new... as I walked along the ocean.
After I'd walked about a mile through the sand, I decided it was time to find a spot for reading, writing, and reflection. I had two poems floating through my mind, and I was ready to write them. I copped a squat on my blue and black checkered blanket and unloaded my toys: a small notebook, pen, and my copy of Women...
Green tea never tasted finer.
I finished it all, and read another chapter in my book. I felt... nurtured. Mothered. Funny, as I read a section on the ability to mother ourselves... the need to mother ourselves when we grow into women.
I snapped a selfie and laughed because I'd just read an article that was blowing up Facebook about people taking selfies and had seen a lot of backlash about narcissism in this generation - but I'd also seen comments about the ability we have to truly share our lives with others across the miles... for me, taking a selfie is saying "this is me and I'm here and here's what I'm doing. I'd like you to come with me and experience it too."
I spent about thirty minutes sitting and reading and writing - reflecting back on old poetry and doodles. Smiled at my old self. And then I got up and folded my blanket: time to go in.
I saw this sea urchin on my way away from the shoreline. I thought: I'd like to save it! And I thought about that poem about the boy who throws starfish back in the water. But when I tried to move it, I found it was stuck fast to the sand, sucking downward - firmly attached to the shoreline... even unto death.
And it made me glad we were moving.