Dan and I made the escape to Seacrest Beach yesterday after a relentless summer of work responsibilities and not just a little sress, especially for Dan. It wasn’t the best time to get away with a busy semester in progress and a recital tour in two weeks, but it was the only time. I did a week’s worth of teaching in two days, teaching my class and entire studio private lessons on Monday and Tuesday so that I could leave without worrying. It’s always really hard for Dan and I to let go of work- we are both driven people who invest a lot into our careers. Sometimes it’s healthy to step away and realize that your jobs can always go on without you…and that you will be better for making time to recharge and invest in your own peace.
We left our home and animals in the wonderful care of a dear friend, loaded the bikes on the (sometimes) trusty old Bug convertible, and headed down the road, doing our best to leave our cares in Birmingham. As each mile passed, I truly began to feel lighter…and a bit giddy with the anticipation of visiting our favorite beach. The last time we went to Seacrest, it was just a few weeks after my mother’s death, and the emerald waters, gorgeous sunsets, and sugary sand were just the balm that my heart needed. This time I’m here feeling strong and happy…just drained. Dan has been running on empty for months, having taken on an intensive schedule of shows with no breaks between. And so once again, we return to the healing ocean to reconnect, play, think, and just be. I am so grateful.
There is nothing quite like our first sunset walk on the beach, cocktail in hand. That first moment where it sinks in that – for a few days, at least- we are taking a break from the every day. We love our lives in Birmingham, but how refreshing to do something completely out of the ordinary, to let ourselves dream and plan. Every time we come here, it reminds us that some day we hope to live by the water. It is a touchstone for both of us, and we never take our rare oprtunities to visit these emerald waters for granted.
While we were bobbing in the waves, giggling like children, I saw a beautiful dragonfly floating in the water on its back. I put it in my hand, and when I turned it over it moved. I quickly waded to shore and held it as it began to dry off. Dan gently stroked its wings to wipe away crystals of sand and then it, too, began to use its front legs to wipe the sand from its head. It stayed on me for the longest time, and then finally flew to the rim of our umbrella, hanging out to finish drying its beautiful gossamer wings before taking off into the blue sky. I thanked it as it flew off. I loved the lessons it shared with me….inundated, no hope in sight, but with a little help it made it to enjoy its life another day. So often I let myself get overwhelmed with my to-do list, with the many responsibilities on my plate. All things that I love, but it’s healthy to have a change of scenery no mater how much you love your life. Change is good for the mind and the soul. It brings perspective and appreciation, as well as the ever-important growth.
For these next few days, I am going to do my best to let go of “normal” and embrace the moment. I want to focus on being with the man I love with all my heart, walking on the beach, letting the waves buffet us about, riding our bikes, enjoying the lovely condo that we lucked into, relishing in our conversations and laughter while being kissed by the sun. Connecting with each other in this peaceful place before we go home and throw ourselves back into our wonderfully full lives with gusto. The responsibilities will be waiting for us- work, students, practice, animals, caring for our old home….but for now, for these few precious days, this is our time. The ocean is calling to us, and we are ready.