we didn't leave for the beach before dawn like I'd planned. weren't there in time for a late breakfast. instead, we left home after a late (or at least, ordinarily-timed) breakfast on Saturday morning. little opportunities to practice letting go. of planning. of expectations. of the "if everything goes just-so then it'll all be great!" mentality that I find myself gummed down into on a pretty regular basis. I hear myself telling Claire "yes, it's hard when things don't go the way you want them to, I know- but it's alright...." and think huh, maybe I ought to listen to those words a bit as well.
and so, after a week of fevers and headaches and ups and downs with her poor sick self, after a visit with my grandma and a couple of days spent with Nichole and her sweet family, we found our way over to Folly Beach. got there in time to settle in, walk around a bit, say hello to that pier, those waves, that salty ocean air I crave so much the roughly 360 or so other days out of the year when I'm hours and hours away from it.....
in time for an early dinner out with an almost-back-to-herself little girl, with a dessert of a lingering walk back to the house via the beach.
in the morning, french toast with leftover challah from a bread pudding I made a few days before. Mike's best friend just happened to be in town (he lives in nj) for a wedding and he came over for coffee and breakfast. a walk on the beach. what are the odds?
Sunday. a full week gone by and finally I felt like I really, truly had my girl back. I painted her fingernails and toenails red. the bonnet worked double duty as a sunshield and a seashell and treasures carrier. she stopped often to draw pictures in the sand with a stick and I stopped often to look and smell and breathe and be.
a walk to the park, just the two of us. he stayed back with a book. there was an art and craft show. the big blue bench swings she loves so much. she took the photo below through the swing seat. lots of mermaid stuff. a one man band singing his heart out over Eagles and James Taylor covers.
a game of chase up and down the little pier.
me, looking at that house- the one with the high pitched metal roof... thinking yeah, I'd live there.
at least for part of the year anyway.
afterwards, we got smoothies and pastries and met up with our main squeeze at a little park. ate. played hide and seek.
a walk on the beach. treasures.
a trip over the bridge to the seafood place for some fish to go with the leftover gumbo (thanks, Nichole and Byron!).
and then today. a bumpy start, three souls wanting different things and not finding the right ways to communicate with one another. tears and hurt feelings, loud packing and a bit of abruptness. something else I need to practice- being okay with occasional abruptness. not letting it throw me as much as I do. I am a sensitive one. and I think I have enough to practice for a while, thanks.
but then that strong, strong medicine. waves. salt. sand. billions of negative ions crashing around and telling me to stop worrying about my silly shit because none of it matters anyway.
be here now, says the ocean. watch me dive, says the pelican. can you see the whole universe in me? asks the fragment of a seashell. so I was there. I watched and listened and looked and tasted and filled up my cup as much as I could.
I am trying, I all but said aloud to that wise little broken shell.
*weekending with amanda