I walked slowly, the sandy beach. It was very overcast and slightly windy. It felt freeing – the wind tousling my hair & not really caring if it was getting messed up. I was on the beach – and that mattered a great deal to me. It mattered even more that I was there with Shawn.
It’d been six months since I’d last stood on a sandy shore as the tide played in and out. Six months ago I was in a completely different state of heart than I was a week ago. I hadn’t stowed away anger and hatred in my heart this trip. No, this trip was different. This trip like one before it, I think was part of my healing. It was yes, part of celebrating our marriage, but I did my best to try to listen. To be open to what God wanted me to hear.
I wrote (literal words not art) in my writing journal for the first time in a couple of months while we were in San Diego. I have this delusion that if I don’t put what’s going on inside down in ink it doesn’t make it as real. I don’t have to fear them as much if I have to stare at them in their black ink-ness against lined white pages. It’s silly because whether they’re mumbled up inside or down on paper doesn’t make my feelings any less real. So at hotel room desk I wrote. They – the mumbled words – still aren’t all out yet. Even that takes time. But I’m taking courage and learning to be brave in what I feel.
So, we strolled the sandy beach – exploring the sand for shells and what not. Noticing the small things like how some of the sand shimmers like gold dust, and that sea foam isn’t a pretty shade of blue-green, but brown & grungy looking. I looked at the ocean, with its swelling waves, and I realized I couldn’t just walk the shore. I was at the OCEAN, I couldn’t go home without putting feet to depth. I had to experience this swelling myself.
I slipped off my flip flops, and drew up my long skirt to my knees went in. I stood there waiting for the waves to make their way to me and I realized – THIS IS BRAVE!! I didn’t care if the water was going to be freezing, that my legs were going to be wet. All I wanted was to feel the waves crash against me.
And they did.
And it was wonderful.
The rest of our time there I left my flip flops off. I configured my skirt so it was at knee level. And I danced in the tide. I breathed slowly and felt just a little bit more whole.
I could have just walked the shore, and enjoyed the beauty around me – and I did do that. But I realize now, had I not stepped into the ocean I would have missed out on the joy I felt as the water came crashing around me.
Being brave isn’t always about being a warrior. Sometimes it’s about taking the baby steps. It’s about letting your legs be bathed in salty ocean water.