The sun, the sand, the ocean…and some Rock and Roll.
Throw in my husband, my dogs, a few friends and a good book and you’d find me the happiest person around.
I love the feeling at work when creative energy abounds and ideas just seem to flow out of nowhere. It’s exciting, exhilarating, and ultimately exhausting. We all need to recharge. For me, this means time by the ocean. I feel most connected to myself and my creativity when I can plant my feet on the shore and feel the vibrations of the endless waves rolling in. I’ve tried to explain this to my husband many times, but you either get it or you don’t. Some people just need to be by the water.
We recently took a trip to Utah, Snowbird to be exact. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful in its own desolate, barren and craggy way. But its not for me. While I could certainly appreciate how others saw the beauty in the soaring peaks and endless ranges, the surrounding mountains left me feeling caged in and trapped, like it would take forever to climb up and out and you would never be able to see the horizon from where I stood at the bottom. That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy ourselves, I can appreciate a beautiful day on the slopes and most especially the perfect burger slope-side and selfies with my husband.
But it’s always back to the beach.
We relocated to North Carolina from Michigan in 2013. Every year before that, we made the 16+ hour trip with our three kids to visit my husband’s family on Oak Island, near Wilmington. The trip was long, but that first sighting of moss-draped trees as you come into Southport always made my pulse quicken. The approach to the bridge onto the island prompted the tradition of rolling down all the windows for the opportunity to catch the first scent of the ocean as you cross the inter-coastal.
Our two weeks at the beach were never long enough, and every year brought tears when it was time to go home. In the early years, the days were filled with activities centered around either entertaining the kids or keeping them safe. Still, I always managed to carve out time for myself, time to spend alone on the beach – even if it was so early the sun was just coming up and everyone else was still sleeping. The beach was quiet then, except for the gulls, the waves, and my own mind. There was room to breathe here, room to think, to just let my mind wander. It was my time to consider the possibilities for my life, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to live. Sometimes I ran, for miles. Sometimes I walked. Sometimes I did yoga. Sometimes I just stood, very still.
As the kids grew older and didn’t need my supervision, I allowed myself to enjoy the beach to my hearts content, often spending whole days never leaving except to grab a quick meal. Some might consider that lazy, to sit and read books, to contemplate the waves, to talk with friends, to walk and collect shells, to run with my dogs, to use flashlights to spot ghost crabs in the moonlight, for eight hours a day; but I found it rejuvenating. While it was still sad to return home, I was relaxed and ready to take on the world once again.
Now that we live in North Carolina, we are looking for our own piece of paradise so that we can make that trip on a more regular basis. While my husband may still not understand why the ocean calls to me, he appreciates the the effect it has on me and knows that it makes me a better, more creative and happy person.
Then, just to be fair, I let him take me to the mountains so he can see those big rocks and trees and stuff, even though I just don’t get it.