Originally published June 14, 2015
A few weeks ago I made a journey to the sea. It was a short journey. As I tell my friends, close enough to visit but not near enough I may have to run. Way out here on the far western edge of the Washington peninsula we have the choice of the Pacific shores or the beaches of bays and coves. My new home is less than an hour away from both Ocean Shores and Westport. My visit this time was to Westport.
I chose Westport because, unlike Ocean Shores, I had never been there. I had, of course, hoped that my husband would be with me on this adventure. It was not to be. So for my first visit to the pounding surf I chose a safe route—a new memory.
There were a few hiccups. I no sooner arrived at a lovely sunny and windblown beach than I discovered that the batteries on my camera were about to die. For some reason beyond me, the backups I usually keep in my camera case were not there. Well, wasn’t that lovely. The second issue was that I, well, didn’t seem to be in appropriate footwear. It was tempting to just carry my shoes and stroll barefoot through the sand. I’m not quite ready for that.
I still spent time, watching and listening to the surf. Letting that timeless beat ease some of the pain of being there alone. I always loved the ocean. Whenever I was stressed, unsure, tired, frightened, worried that things in life had just gotten “too big” for me—I escaped. To the shore, or to a mountain, or a vast moonless sky, but always somewhere bigger than me. Somewhere that made “stuff” smaller, more manageable, more doable. This time it was the ocean surf. The heartbeat of the earth. How much closer to nature can you get and still be a separate entity?
I drove into the tiny coastal town of Westport and wandered through the shops, found some batteries, and had lunch at a seafood place. I walked the piers and managed a few pictures. Hesitant, first steps toward being a “me” and not an “us.” All in all, it was a pleasant, though bittersweet day.
This weekend “holiday” from unpacking, rescheduling, house fixing and whatever else is going on in my life, helped me pause and take inventory. There are times when you lose someone who truly was your soul mate that the loss grows into a deep and hungry black hole sucking the life right out of you. But there are also times when that love is so great that it won’t let you quit. Will not let you forget the dreams that can still be lived, or the person you have grown into because of their care. I think I’m learning. I just need to do better at having appropriate footwear, oh, and a few extra batteries.