Yesterday my husband and I took a much-needed jaunt to the beach. The November day was unseasonably warm in New England and it seemed right to seize it. I wanted desperately to get away for a few hours – from my house that I’m in nonstop because of COVID-19, from the endless assault of election news, from my 22 year old son who is making bad choices and making me worried.
We drove the hour or so to Rhode Island, to my favorite beach, East in Watch Hill, where Taylor Swift’s oceanfront mansion sits high on a cliff, surrounding by fencing and security cameras, and a lighthouse graces one end. My feet sinking into the warm sand, and the not-too-cold water lapping at my heels, felt like heaven. I felt grounded, connected to the divine, grateful to be at this beautiful, healing place.
The trauma, insanity, and isolation of the past year had finally caught up with me over the weekend. It felt like edginess and depression and an inability to focus. I was supposed to catch up on grading for the class I teach, clean the bathroom, cook a nice Sunday meal, but I simply could not do any of these things, couldn’t even go through the motions, as usual.
If not for the ocean, I might have imploded into a heap on the floor. This is not like me. Typically, I can put one foot in front of the other and carry on. But I was tired, so very tired. I needed to feel alive, connected, touch something that was good and pure and healing.
The beach even smelled this way. I marveled at the scent, told my husband I wished I could bottle it up and bring it home. Instead, I pocketed a few black stones and a rare piece of sea glass I found.
By this morning, to my dismay, the ebony-colored stones had faded to gray. Similarly, my ocean-inspired energy is fading. I’m beginning to feel heavy again, as a busy work week looms.
But where would I be without yesterday’s trip to the beach? I don’t even want to know. In a world that sometimes feels like it’s gone mad, we need every bit of grace we can grab.
I’d love to know – how are you feeling?