Tag Archives: beach

The Amazing Story of the Sunglasses and the Sea

Yesterday I felt brave in the Pacific Ocean waves.  They were wilder and more fierce than Long Island Sound, but the ground felt soft and sturdy beneath my feet.  I waded deeper into the water, watching pelicans do their hilarious face-plants around me.   I thought about a recent text conversation with a girlfriend in pain; in transition.  “These moments,” I had said “Are like waves.  They can be huge, and scary, and sometimes painful.  It may feel like youimagewill drown.  But you will not. Mama Ocean will not do that to you.”  I felt so in the flow and full of joy…until the water tugged at my feet and disappeared around me as a 15 foot wave swelled over my head.  Panic.  I turned my back and jumped.  What felt like bricks pelted my body and pushed me down, water filling my nose and esophagus.   We all have these stories right?  Fun until the ocean knocks us over? Yes.  I survived, got up, noticed that my sunglasses had been ripped from my face. Obviously. I should have known better.   Shit.  Okay, they weren’t my best pair.  All was fine,  except now I was afraid of the waves.  None of my woo woo “Mama Ocean won’t drown you” advice was holding up.  Waves would appear and I would freeze, unable to decide: Jump, dive, ride? I just started saying “no” and resisting before getting pummeled.  Eventually I gave up. I  literally said “I’ve had enough” to the sea and walked to the sand, defeated, knowing I had failed to learn some kind of lesson.  Mama Ocean took my joy, my r&r, and my sunglassee (which I really liked, to be honest).

Today I walked back to the beach at the end of the day, right before sunset.  My intention was just to put my toes in the water, cool off, and not fight the ocean at all.  I walked straight from the street where I’m staying to the water.  At my feet, where the ocean met the sand…

My sunglasses.

Some rust, lots of sand, otherwise in tact and undeniably mine.

More than 24 hours of tides and tourists later, she returned my sunglasses to me, sending them not to the exact spot where I lost them but to the spot where I returned.

My friend with whom I’ve been texting about this wants to know what I make of this.

All I can assume is that I have a relationship with The Universe that goes beyond my understanding.  And when the ocean rips something away from you it might actually be engaging you in conversation, alerting you to its power, and letting you know you have an intensely magical ally, after all.

The metaphor is so rich I can hardly make sense of it!  I look forward to all of your comments.

XO,

Melissa

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Walking While the Mind Runs

I should probably leave my phone at home so I can be alone with my thoughts while I walk.  My life and my business are very social; alone time is scarce.  I’ve been counseled to disconnect more often.drift

But my best thoughts come to me on my walks and I must capture them.  They say we are at our best in the spaces between intense thinking and frantic doing.  I suppose the mystics would say we are at our best when we are “being.”  I kind of suck at “being.”

So, I walk.  The phone stays in my hand, and I am often the idiot tripping over cracks in the sidewalk, oblivious to the birds and trees.  Eventually I do look up and breathe, I swear.

I use Instagram to express gratitude for the quiet moments, the flowers and the animals I find.
I text people crazy ideas and send invites to meet for breakfast or lunch (with apologies that I tend to work while the world eats dinner).
I turn little song ideas into voice memos.
I make important business decisions at my favorite pond while snapping pictures of my “pet” egret and turtles in the sun.
I call my husband to tell him I’m thinking of him.
I plan our next vacation.
Sometimes the phone rings and I answer; it’s like taking a walk with a friend (admittedly this means I will take a second walk after we hang up, so the mind can still wander).
I develop my blog posts (I sat down on a piece of driftwood and typed this one into my phone).

It’s free association at its finest; a combination of effortless free time and getting sh*t done.
I know it now: My busy brain needs this chance to run free like the wild horse it is.

Today I imagined sending my students outside when they have writer’s block, and then I wondered if I would have done better in Algebra if they let me walk while I tried to solve for “x.”  What if my friends in corporate offices took to the sidewalks and parks to plan their next marketing campaigns?

beach

What if we acknowledge the importance of the space between planned thinking and doing?  What if we accept that we get so much more accomplished when our minds have room to roam?

I’ll see you outside – please stop me and wave, even if I appear to be lost in thought.