10 days of what for me, is immeasurable sloth. I've done dishes and laundry, and even cooked, but it's a mimalist existence here with a few books, sand, saltwater, and typical boardwalk fare. The food is rich and happy-making.
I am sloughing off four years of academic rigor and study, stress of fellowship proceedings (to be reengaged with in the fall), loss and grief and joy and success. I'm purposely thinking of little, reading fiction that pleases me, watching trite TV, and enjoying teaching my kids the deep love of the ocean that I hold. The heat, the rhythm of the tides, the art of swimming, and how to lose one's dignity with laughter when you get knocked around by an unexpected wave or you time the crest wrong, or it was bigger than you thought. Digging in the sand to hold sand crabs and feel them ticle your fingers, or finding beds of uoung clams and laughing tomsee them swim in their fashion. The sustenance of blue crab and oysters and crab legs and shrimp and stuffed salmon that is fresher than anything they are likely to taste any distance away from the shore.
The seashore has a life and tide of its own and it takes years of vacations to learn it, but I now fall into it seamlessly. Washing endless towels, and rinsing feet, and waffles and ice cream. It's a break I look forward to every year and I don't think I would ever tire of this life, even if it were a permanent thing, not just vacation.
There is much to be learned from the ocean - she is a great and fierce mother and teacher. I will take the feel of sand with me, the sound of the waves endless, the memory of dolphins playing past the edge of the surf. The heat of the sun I have soaked up into my bones, day after day, to,sustain me in the coming cold of upstate NY , though that seems faroff amidst record temps and no rain).
The peace and renewal I gain here will warm my soul as I hold hands and pray and grow as a hospital chaplain next year. It will sustain me as a mOther and wife, through joys and trials. I am so very blessed to have had this time to just BE with My family and with myself. To give myself permission to rest and read and write. To fill myself up and return to the service I love so much.