Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Following the tides...

I recently spent a few winter beach days at a friend's parents' beach house in Marshfield. The ocean's magnetism pulls me all year long and we were undeterred by the thought that we'd freeze our butts off...It was so peaceful and surprisingly mild and sunny. We both spent hours walking and combing the sand for seashells and rocks...noting which ones looked prettiest dry or wet. Her goal was to find the 'Pottery Barn-like' ones to put in a glass jar with a floating candle in it. Mine was to just sort of organically 'feel' whichever ones spoke to me...I think even though she's known me for twenty plus years she thought my method was a bit whacked, but was far too polite to say so outright. But we each lost ourselves in the process...I was reminded of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's memoir, Gifts from the Sea...because that's what our treasures were and we appreciated them for their different shapes, sizes and colors--the mottled patterns of some and smooth rounder or oval ones, the skipping stones, the wishing rocks (those with a white, unbroken ring that looks as though it has been painted all around the rock). The brick reds, lilac tones, apple greens and slate greys all lay together in random patterns. The sea air worked its magic on both of us and we enjoyed the feeling of playing hooky from so-called 'real life'.

One day, we drove into town and had a great lunch at this place right on the water. Our waitress sounded like she was minutes away from having her vocal cords replaced by an electronic voicebox---a lifelong smoker no doubt. We ordered wine with our lunch and felt very grown-up...we who have known each other since eighth grade were now women...no longer girls but still with girlish flashes and remembrances of our shared youth. We'd graduated from wine coolers to Cabernet and Pinot. It was nice to catch up. It was also nice to relax into comfortable silences and to let the rhythm of the tides and our own desires take us to wherever we wanted to go or to just lounge around and read mindless books and magazines.

Yet--as always whenever I go away--however far or near or brief or extended a stay...it was also great to come back to my own garretlike haven apt., to sleep again in my own bed...the sounds of the surf now on my sleep CD and not the real thing. I felt recharged and content. In my mind as I fell asleep, I was searching for rocks and shells and wandering blissfully without purpose or deadlines. My whole being expanded and contracted with the ebb/flow motion of the tides. I was truly home.

And now---I am getting ready for my next seaside getaway...the Writer's Retreat in St. Andrew's, New Brunswick Canada. I'll be there for St. Patrick's Day...will have to put some green food coloring in my Molson. ;)

Molson, mounties and moose...and more time to write. More gifts from the sea and from life. Time to end my book and begin a new chapter, a new phase of the adventure...Hopefully one where the book is a ticket to speaking engagements, book signings and who knows what else? But I am not going to get ahead of myself just yet...

..................................To be continued.........................


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