Over the weekend, we snuck away to Santa Cruz, a city on Central California's Coast. We were there for only 24 hours total, but I can't escape noticing the abrupt change in climate the instant we arrived. No, not just the weather (Santa Cruz- 70 tops, Fresno over 100) but the climate of the neurons in my brain. Sometimes it's good to pack up and leave practically everything about what you do and who you are behind. What you are left with is often the truest form of you.
So short. So fun. We could see the Boardwalk and the Ocean from our hotel room.
So many people share a picture of themselves at the beach and say, "This is my happy place." Well duh- I'm going to guess that 95% of the world would find the beach to be one version of their happy. It is our happy place too. It's a sensory delight and paying attention to its details makes me feel alive.
I hear the crash of the waves, and then the fizz of the water being pulled back home. Crash....fizz...crash...fizz. Breathing becomes easier. The constant spinning hamster wheel in my head takes a break. I hear the squak of the seagulls, until they are so expected I don't really hear them anymore unless I am listening for it. I hear people talking and children laughing. Squealing with each wave coming in. I squeal with them. How is this world and nature and this ocean not the most amazing thing ever? If there is anything else more squeal worthy I am unaware of that at this time. I smell ocean air, clean, sometimes a little fishy and a sometimes like the best kind of suntan lotion. I feel like it's 1986 and I'm a kid and it's Summer and I've got nothing to do but smile (thanks for those words, Paul Simon). I see all the things at once, and I don't know where to look first. The navy blue horizon. The water getting lighter blue and clearer as it gets closer. The wave as it meets the shore, white like the foam on a cappuccino. The beige sand that sparkles like a thousand diamonds when the water overlaps it. I see boats and seagulls and the occasional seal playing its heart out. I see people, all kinds of people wearing all kinds of thing. From skimpy suits to one gentlemen who was wearing full on cargo jeans and heavy duty construction boots. (I really wanted to ask him about that one. I'm sure he had a good story to go along with it.)
The trick is, to find a happy place in the mundane. A happy place in the hard. A happy place when all the ducks aren't in a row and the things are not all figured out. Places are not inherently happy, but people can be. Homes are not happy- but the people in them can be. Fancy beach homes and elegant evenings out aren't important- what matters is who you are with and how you feel. True happy comes from people, including yourself. Not things. My new friend Kylee who writes at Two Pretzels Blog said, "I'm learning that your happy place goes with you. Where you are, it is."
Yes, yes, yes, yes yes. Every damn day I work to find my happy place, in places not notorious for happy. In places like my heart.
A seagull pooped on him. Yes, it's good luck and blah blah blah. That's something we made up because people are uncomfortable with literal and figurative shit. Rains on your wedding day- good luck! Start your period while wearing white jeans- good luck! Your husband cheats on you with your best friend? Such good luck!
Sometimes bird shit is just bird shit. We wash up and move on.
The Boardwalk was loud and peopley and magical. In a deep fried kind of way.
I had to get over the principle of $5 ice cream. It shouldn't be too hard for the don't think twice about ordering a $5 coffee drinker.
School starts a week from today. I am trying to pretend like my nerves are actually just excitement. Last week one morning on the way to therapy, Parker said, "I want school". That brought me peace. He knows the times, they are a-changing soon. Milestones are simply reminders of how fast time flows. It goes that fast every day, but the milestones are our wakeup calls, because boy do we forget a lot. Especially when we are uncomfortable or waiting or in the middle of something hard.
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
And also the beginning...