Tuesday, August 13, 2013

a day at the beach

This summer has been full of the goodness of trips and adventures, of friends and family. And it has been wonderful. But it has been full. Yesterday we had a bit of a lull, a span of hours that were just us, sandwiched between a fabulous visit with friends and an eagerly anticipated family gathering to come. It took the kids some time to adjust to the absence of their friends and to stop asking: just how long until our family comes? To not see the hours as waiting time until the next adventure began.

But soon enough, our pace slowed, and we started reconnecting. And biddle-bopped our way through the time in between.

And we had a day of just us. And it was so good.

As we moved through the day, we settled into being content. Happy with the time we had just had. And happy to know that more time with those we love was coming. So we could just be for the day. It wasn't the frantic energy and sheer joy of time with others, but it was quiet and peaceful. And just what we needed.

Time to notice some of the beauty around us.

To visit a favorite spot when no one else was there.

And to move slowly through the course, chatting together as we went, observing small touches to the course that we had never noticed, being able to redo a section over and over until each one of us had made the church bells ring and the school bell chime.

To rescue a beetle from a hole before we smooshed it with our balls.

To revisit an activity that, the first time we had done it, was full of frenetic awesomeness but this time was slower, more experimental, more contemplative.

To go for a walk and buy baked goods and then enjoy them in the shade of a tree.

And then?  The beach.  In the late afternoon when the light was just perfect.  To scramble, stretch, jump, and throw.  

And time sink our feet into the sand and feel the warmth of the sun in it.

With time to search the rocks.  To move away from each other as we searched, and then run scramble and slide back to each other, heads bonking, knees bumping, and necks craning, so that we could all see someone's find.  

The day made me think about the book I just finished and then passed on to Julia, both of us consuming it, unable to put it down, devouring it instead of responding to calls to breakfast.  Finishing it, then starting it over again.  The Center of Everything, by Linda Urban.  

I'll write more about Urban's book soon, but for now, one of her themes examined points, stars, and people with invisible lines and connections between them, moving closer and farther apart.  All a part of a unified whole, structure, or object.  Their connections to each other remaining, their overall shape unbreakable, but with a kind of fluidity between the points.  Today was a day of bringing those points all back closer together.

Of us finding our center.





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