Laddy and I haven’t walked on the beach in three days. When the tide is high, most of the hard-packed, easy-walking sand is under the rolling surf and so, instead, we walk along the street just above the beach, where million dollar homes with million dollar views line one side of the road and a sloping hill with utility poles lines the other.
I call this the hawk walk or pole stroll, because we usually spot a hawk sitting on top of one of the poles. Sometimes we meet other dogs and their walkers, some mornings we wave to people on their way to work. Laddy has lots of grass and gopher holes to smell and I can see the ocean rolling below us all the way out to the horizon.
Today, two hours before high tide, Laddy and I returned for a morning beach walk. Even though I’ve seen the ocean every day, standing inches from the surf with a 180° view of water and waves opened me up as if for the first time.
My lungs felt expansive. My legs were strong walking on the sand. And I was smiling easy and wide. I tossed a thin stick for Laddy to retrieve as I watched the waves rise and curl into themselves, changing from algae green to cobalt blue, then rushing toward the shore like galloping white-maned horses. They rolled closer and softer, wave over water, until they flattened into bubbling lines of sea foam converging on the sand. And I stood there, joyful, grateful, completely a part of the landscape.
And I realized that this is how I feel everywhere here, not just when I stand on the beach.
In the past three months, things have shifted. I no longer feel like a tourist, just passing through. I live here. This is home. I have favorite restaurants and secret walking places. I am a regular at my yoga studio.
Laddy and I have been walking at different times of the day and meeting more neighbors. I’m getting together with these new friends for lunches and thrift store explorings. And I no longer force myself to go to events that I think I should attend even though I don’t enjoy them.
And the most surprising part is that I’m no longer feeling desperate to date, or worried that I’ll always be alone. I am genuinely content with my own company.
And I love being with Laddy on the beach. As I stood there noticing the subtle rhythms of the waves inside and around me, he nudged me with his nose and we started to walk toward the pier. The waves were steady and calm, rolling over and around the big dark rocks that were now nearly submerged by the tide. A seagull stood on one of the bigger rocks and another hovered in the air above him.
Laddy had sand on his snout from pouncing on his stick. I brushed it off, bending over him in a modified down dog so that I could hug him around his belly. The morning sun highlighted the the rusty reds and browns of his coat as I combed my hands through.
We walked a little further then I stopped again to pause and take in the view. Laddy chewed on another stick as I stood there watching and listening to the roll of the tide, slowly rising.
When I’m in Phoenix next month, I hope I find ways to be still and present and connected to nature. I hope I am able to appreciate all that is there, even though I live here.
How do you connect with the peace of the present moment? Please share with me and my readers by clicking on the Comments below.