Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Paradise Lost

I'm back.

Things I learned from this trip:

1) I have been away from the beach way too long. I have lost the connection. It was like looking into the face of a long ago friend and seeing a stranger. The grace of a pelican in flight was shocking. When did I forget this?

2) I have forgotten how to do nothing. When the boys went down for a nap and we had two hours to kill, I didn't know what to do with myself. I watched the ocean, trying to feel the familiar pull, trying to sink into the calmness, the tranquility I used to feel. After five minutes of this I left the balcony and rummaged around the condo. Surely there was something that needed cleaned, folded, tucked or scrubbed? I found a stash of books by the TV. Something to read! Perfect. I took a few outside and flipped through them. Shallow beach reads. None of them held my interest. I was beginning to panic. Instead of relaxed, I was anxious...even bored.

3) As busy as nature looks, there is a rhythm, a pattern of work and rest, of energy exerted and then released. The pelicans: flap flap flap...glide. flap flap flap...glide. The ocean: waves of energy created and dispersed. I have lost my rhythm. I am all flap flap flap...create create create.

Eventually, in the last few hours, I began to experience moments of familiarity, of lightness. Moments of recognition, of remembering. Moments I was connecting with myself and in turn, connecting with the world around me. I was encouraged that more time could have healed the distance.

Maybe next time.

Now, I will be working on trying to find my own natural rhythm.

I will try to remember how to glide.

6 comments:

Shawn said...

Very soothing post ... not bad for someone learning to glide. I think what you experienced is the very reason why people feel like they need another vacation after a vacation.

Glad to know you didn't have anything to do for a while. That makes you appreciate the things you have to do all over again.

Fill me in on the boys' reaction to the beach, how they slept and traveled, etc. Welcome back!

Gary said...

I have often said that vacations can be more harmful than good for exactly the reasons you express here: if they are too short, you end up missing out on really getting into them until the end, worrying through them more than relaxing.

Good luck with the flap, flap flap... the glide is the easy part. ;-)

Shannon said...

Very true about the appreciation part, Shawn...full report coming to your inbox!

Hi, Gary-Worrying more than relaxing is right. The more you "try" to relax knowing you have a short amount of time in which to do so, the more anxiety builds. Vicious cycle.

Christian said...

The pelicans: flap flap flap...glide. flap flap flap...glide. The ocean: waves of energy created and dispersed. I have lost my rhythm. I am all flap flap flap...create create create.

I do believe that is the most profound and beautiful paragraph I have read in any blog anywhere. I am awed by your imagery and metaphor. Wonderful.

bella said...

It is hard to slow, to stop, to be still. I love what you wrote about the ocean, how it is not really one or the other. It is both; it is rhythm. Maybe this is why I feel so at home by the sea. There is time there for everything important.
This was a lovely post.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Welcome back! Sounds like fun, even if it wasn't totally relaxing. =o)