I am back at the beach, slowly re-connecting with the rhythm of the tides and the change in the climate.
The transition between being in AZ and being here takes a while, letting go of what was, allowing my tender heart to ache, and, at the same time, embracing that I am in this place that makes my body feel so damn good. Already I am walking more than I have in the last three months and breathing in so deeply that my exhales are audible.
The air is damp and a little salty-sticky, cool but not cold. I am wearing cotton capris, a three-quarter-sleeved knit shirt with a camisole underneath for warmth and my body rejoices in this perfect temperature.
I pulled in on Sunday around noon, exhausted after the two easy driving days and the emotions that go with them. I was grateful for the welcoming fog, the piercing call of the killdeer and the roll of the waves.
But my RV had a dead battery when I tried to start it. I had imagined I’d need to deal with some things when I got back since the RV had been parked, unattended for 8 months, but a dead battery wasn’t one of them.
I was able to get the engine to turn over using what little juice was in the coach batteries and I pulled into my spot. But I forgot to keep it running while I checked for being level, and then I couldn’t start it again. But I had electricity and water and propane so I tried to calm down.
I found a few mouse turds in the bathroom cabinet and there were ants in one of the food boxes. I love ants when they’re out in their own world doing ant things. But I HATE them in my living space. I squirted them with my bleach cleaner and asked them to please move out. There are still a few rogue ants who clearly didn’t get the message, but I think I’m winning the battle.
I don’t know how people deal with this kind of stress every day. I cried, I called Marika, and then I called AAA to set up an appointment for the following day. I could have jumped the battery myself and driven over to Auto Zone for a new one, but I just didn’t want to.
Instead, I unpacked some things from the car, ate the rest of the brisket that Marika had packed for me and then finally, I walked down the hill to the beach and breathed it all in.
I was here. Again. The sun was just beginning to set, but the sky was still all fog so there was nothing to see except the beautiful dimming of the light. I walked under the pier, stopping to look at the crane and the new wooden planks and the restoration progress. I watched a dog rush into the waves to retrieve his frisbee. I watched a father play one-on-one soccer in the sand with his barefoot daughter.
Then I took myself to Duckie’s for dinner, a Caesar salad with broiled red snapper on top, and watched the day visitors come in and order one last bowl of chowder before heading home.
On my walk back up the hill, over the creek bridge, I recognized the man sitting on the bus stop bench. He was the 87 year old artist who lives on the street just above Paradise Park. I had visited him in his studio before I left last March and he had shown me his paintings and scrapbooks with all of the graphic work he did for Corvette.
So much of me did not want engage but I pushed myself to do it differently. I said hello and re-introduced myself. He said had found an old bottle of vodka at his house and had walked to the liquor store to get something to go with it. Tonic water? I asked? No, vermouth. He said he was going to make a martini. But he didn’t get any olives.
He said he still hadn’t painted anything. “But hey, maybe this will inspire me,” he said, holding up the brown paper bag with the bottle in it. I told him I’d check back with him in a couple of days to see how things were going.
I watched some Hulu when I got home and went to bed early, my body still adjusting to the earlier hour here.
I slept on and off that first night, dreaming of ants and car batteries. AAA came on Monday morning and put in a new battery, I drove the RV down the street to the local garage and got air in all of the tires, went to the carwash to remove the first layer of storage dirt and finally pulled back into my space. Now I’m level and situated in spot 60 with a fabulous view of town, Morro Rock and a peek of ocean.
I’ve been welcomed back by my neighbors with lovely, full on body hugs, and greeted on the beach by people who recognize me from being here before.
And this afternoon I have a board meeting for the Winter Bird Festival.
Each time I return to the beach, I am different, circumstances are different and my intentions for being here are different. When I first came in 2012, I walked the beach asking how I can do more of my best heart work. And now, two years later, I am a published author, and my book is reaching readers all over the world!
I am basking in this dream come true, trying not to rush to the next thing of growing it even bigger. But instead, appreciating all that is, right here right now.