Coastal Contemplations

How should one celebrate a fifteenth wedding anniversary alone?  This was my one concern leading up to the day.  What to do?  Who to be with?  Where to go?  Would I fall apart?  Well, I’m here to tell you that I didn’t.  I survived and it passed like any other normal day.

I was fortunate enough to get the library cottage in Manzanita for a week and my anniversary happened to fall smack dab in the middle of it.  Did I plan it that way?  Of course not.  It was yet another of the unexpected miracles life has waiting if we pay attention.  After a few invites, a few rejections, and a few I should I ask so and so, I went alone in the end.  Not including the company of Dylan Dog and Reeses Cat.  Just us girls.  We had run of the cottage and a fabulous front window view of the beach.  We watched surfers, children playing, adults building campfires, kite flying, dogs frolicking, and the waves rolling ever in and out.

I had good intentions.  I brought along the cello I’ve been learning to play, five books of outstanding personal development to read, three movies to lose myself in, and the laptop to work on homework.  I hoped to write a poem or two as well.  I accomplished none of these things.  Oh, I picked up the cello.  Squeaked out Mary Had a Little Lamb, fiddled a bit with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.  Managed to finish one of the books I was most the way through already…On Love and Loneliness by Krishnamurti (how appropriate).  Looked at the homework assignment.  And watched one of the movies I’ve seen before.  Mostly though, I journaled and stared out at sea.  And it was strangely calming to do nothing.  Lately, I’ve been anxious when unoccupied.  It is not something I normally give myself over to.  I’m forever doing something, seeing someone, working, reading, and if I’m not I’m always aware there is something else that needs doing.  I should be gardening or doing homework or writing a letter or writing a poem or visiting a friend, endless things to be doing.  But when removed from these distractions (good though they are) I found I could relax.  No guilt in not doing anything productive.  This is what I needed.  To just be.  Sit and look out the window.  Go for a walk and watch my dog’s utter enjoyment.  Curl up for a nap on the sofa with the cat.  Take a bubble bath in the middle of the afternoon and not get dressed again.  These are valid life moments too.  And I need to remember this lesson when I have a free evening or afternoon, perhaps I should just take it and appreciate it for what it is, cherish that beautiful moment, and not fill it up with should dos and could dos.

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