Last week we talked about taking the time to really see our surroundings, opening ourselves up to being human again without technology. This is just what I’ve done. I’m pleased to report that I have been able to take time away from my cell phone and just be me. I will say it has taken a lot of hard work to set my phone aside and focus on the things around me. But this past week I was able to do just that and make lasting memories. Despite the cold air and fridge temperatures, I was able to take some time for myself outside. Nature is a fickle thing, I find people either love it or they hate it. Personally, I love it. This was my weekend…
I sat at the edge of the sea to listen to the waves crashing against the cold rocky beach, and the seagulls cry out to one another. My world became engulfed by the sounds of the sea, the smell of the salt air, and the touch of the sand between my fingers… I closed my eyes and let my other senses take over. Rushing over me like a tidal wave.
That’s when I hear it… a slight giggle.
A woman stood there just behind me, staring and watching. Her laugh reminds me of my young daughter's laugh which made me smile. The woman steps closer with her silver hair flowing in the sea air waving her hands at me, “I’m so sorry I don’t mean to laugh, I just thought I was the only one who ever did that”. I brushed the sand off my hands and looked at her puzzled. She giggled again and sat beside me on the sandy beach with her feet just out of reach of the waves. She smiles and, in a kind, gentle voice explains to me that at least once a week ever since she was small, she would find herself at the ocean's edge just waiting to comfort her and wash away the world. That the sea took her breathe away no matter how many times she saw it. When she saw me quietly listening to the oceans song with my eyes closed it reminded her of herself many years ago. She could remember feeling like her world was falling apart and that nothing could fix it. Then she would find herself driving to the ocean and rushing to the edge to free her spirit. The ocean was her therapist for decades she explained. Always there, always willing, always something new yet never changing.
I knew exactly how she felt. The ocean has always been there for me, through good times and bad. No matter the season I could go there and find myself no matter how lost I was. I would surrender myself to the ocean and in return, it would remind me of who I was and what my purpose is.
This woman came out of nowhere and yet she was able to relate to me on a level no one else ever has. I sat and listened to her talk about her life, the hard times she has gone through and the good times that she had. She explained how without the bad she never would have appreciated the good. That the bad times have a place and purpose, they help us truly feel the good things in life. Just like the waves on the sea have their purpose. The waves crash against the beach washing it of all its sins, they thrash and bang when their mad and settle when their calm. You never have to guess the ocean's mood, it shows those who listen. All we must do is truly listen…
We sat together in full conversation without uttering a word for hours. We watched the sun begin to set down below the sea and the moon rises to the starry sky above. As the night danced in, I looked over at one another and simply smiled. Her silver hair that had clearly been red as the sunset at one point glistened in the moonlight. She smiled back showing that the lines around her mouth were clearly from the endless smiling she had done for a lifetime. The laugh lines and silver hair reminded me that we all age. Time stands still for no one.
A shooting star went by and I closed my eyes to make a wish. She told me wishes are great but to remember you must sail your own path to get where you want to go. I helped her stand as her joints crackled. She smiled one last smile, hugged me and said goodbye.
As I sat back down, I thought about the uninterrupted time I spent with her. She shared her life with me through her stories. She reminded me so much of myself; her words of wisdom and a life well lived will stay with me forever. That’s when I realized I never got her name. All the personal conversation, the emotional roller-coaster I just rode with her and I don’t even have a name…
Soon it was time for me to go as well. As I got into my car not wanting to leave this place that just became more magical to me than I ever could have realized, I felt calm, reassured and open to life’s possibilities.
As soon as I shut the door to my car, I could hear it, my phone going off with work emails, missed calls, text messages, and instant messages! It was continuous! I can’t help but think if I hadn’t left my phone in the car, I never would have been able to make the connection that I did. I never would have met this mystery woman who changed my whole outlook on the world.
I’m going to start leaving my phone more often. Somethings can wait…especially when life is beginning.
Take time for life….