Today I went for a walk on the beach !
I know, it seems like a simple ordinary thing, right ? Well, not for me. Since I broke my knee in 2010, I did not go walk on the beach here, at all. I went and walked on a couple of far away shores, and it was great, I love going to the beach… But I live here on the Pacific Coast and I almost forgot that I could also go see the ocean and walk on the wet sand… right here !
So, anyway, today was a day off for me: a day off duty, a day off the charts, a day off… That does not mean that I did nothing today. No, in fact I got plenty of little things done, gently, slowly, and without planning them at all. And that is what made this day so special: I did everything I did, just in the present moment, without thinking about it, without planning it, without doing anything else but go where it felt good and right.
Here is how it started: I woke up and I could see the peach color of the clouds in the sky, such a pretty sight I thought about jumping in my car and go for photos and contemplation around the lagoon. But I was still sore from too much work and shopping yesterday so I just got up and made myself a cup of coffee and got started with what I knew would be a gentle day. Eventually one after another, I found myself doing things that I enjoyed immensely, but without planning any of them… Actually what I was planning was to not really do anything! But I did plenty…
When I left for my garden, I knew I was going there but I was not sure exactly for what, except for feeding the compost pile… I just had a nice spontaneous lunch, simply pulling a couple of things from the fridge and making myself a healthy plate in a few minutes, then having it while reading my book with a big cushion behind my back, I thought I could maybe even take a nap. But in fact, after about 1/2 an hour, I felt so invigorated that I went to the garden, which was literally giggling with joy, all blessed with abundant rain and still dripping under a warm sun. As I was there, I cut a big bunch of kale, thinking I could make some chips with it, eventually… maybe tomorrow. I also grabbed some large and lush leaves of Collard greens, and ate some raspberries. When I left, I had taken enough greens to share them, so I drove up the mesa, to bring some to my good friend John. He was not home, so I left them in a pot on the way to the front door.
From there I went down Terrace and saw a nice little sail boat anchored short from the beach. The ocean was flat and pretty, some clouds floated through majestically… so instead of going home I drove down Wharf Road and parked right before the “No Parking” sign, where it was still legal to stay, an omen of some kind: that spot is rarely available ! I had just stopped briefly on the way there to say “Hi” to a friend and we both mentioned how beautiful the day was… Still no plan.
Anyway, once I parked, it seemed like a good idea to get out of the car and to try for a little walk. I did not decide it. My body did. So my body and I went carefully down the boat ramp and onto the wet sand, and just by putting a foot in front of the other for a while, I ended up with shoes and car keys in one hand, the hem of my pants quite wet, and the tide was turning back in, and the sun was warm, the light (so particularly beautiful at this time of the year) was making the wavelets sparkle… It was wonderful.
When it felt right I turned around and came back to my car, and went home, totally blissed out.
When I was walking to my car, people with 2 black dogs were also getting back to theirs. One of the dogs was old, and pretty crippled, but he tagged along as best he could, and certainly in a considerable amount of discomfort, and vulnerability, you could tell, he knew he was fragile, but still, he was trying to please, and he must have been enjoying the outing in spite of all his misfortune. I looked at him, and said “Hi Pooch”, and it was all so intense, the beauty of the day and his eyes, his gentle doggie eyes, not sure about being safe, but willing… It almost made me tear up.
Not sad. But so present in the moment that I could FEEL everything.
I went home, looked at the bunch of kale I had brought in with me, and smoothly switched the oven on, put the tea kettle on the stove, and on the fly, got two trays of kale bits in the oven, to dry up and make chips… The healthiest chips you can think of, and a treat too !
It did not feel like a chore. Nothing I got done today felt anything but totally free and I was in a mood very close to celebration. For nothing. For everything. For Life…
I don’t know what the rest of the day will be, but I know that it will be exactly what I need. And I feel so grateful, and so blessed, words are poor to describe it.
So many days spent in doing and planning ahead, and not really be there, in the NOW, where it really does happen. Everything. All at once. Amazing.