I cannot take credit for this all too happy handwriting. Full of optimism, isn't it? Not that I am other than a hope addict. I soar on those wings every moment that I can. But look at these circular loops that declare "I am here!" with a confidence that what comes around does indeed go around. How we build ourselves up with every gesture despite the uncertainty of the oncoming tide. Persistence.
Remi and I are not, actually, beach people. There have been moments when we were on assignment in some exotic locale known for its waters where we did not even dip in a toe. Last Sunday I was dressed in black capris and a long sleeve t-shirt, even though I had been told that the water was still warm. Remi, essentially the same. Only Ben, our lovely dog, was beyond himself with excitement, having immediately sniffed out a turn south towards the sea, away from the destination of our usual hikes.
Undoubtedly because of his recent swimming success in the Alpilles, he dove right in. What a difference from the timorous pup of yore. Wild abandon. Yes, for the millionth time, our dogs show us the quickest path to least resistance. He certainly doesn't ask himself "should I enjoy myself?"--he just does.
I loved the privacy of the end of September day. Far from the "look at me" each and all were doing their best to squirrel away memories for the months to come. So were we with each footfall. However, I could tell that after walking for quite some time, Remi was all too ready to relax but didn't dare. "It's just sand," I reminded him. "We can brush it off."
And so all three of us plopped down, quiet as could be, sipping the surroundings into our skin--the chuchotement of the waves, the caress of the sun's warmth and a feeling that we weren't quite who we thought we were fifteen minutes before.
"Fireflies in daylight."That is the phrase that kept dancing through my head as I was taking in the glimmer skipping across the horizon. But isn't that the best gift about what it is to go to the sea? To let our minds wander? To travel without moving? So amazing with the Mediterranean to think that on the other side of this wide blue lies...Africa.
The sand between my fingers, at the nape of my neck, tickling my scalp...oh my, it was absolutely everywhere, for once we gave in, we gave in. Ben didn't help, splaying a wet paw across my chest as he thumped down beside me with a sigh. So be it. And it did wipe off. But less so the memory of my big achievement of the day. Those of you that know me well or have been reading here for a while know that I don't drive. Honestly, I am of another time but what was I thinking when I was young that I didn't want to learn? That it wasn't ladylike? I swear that was a part of it! And that I would just prefer to be driven. Yes, all of this when I was around 16. I believe that I was an older soul then than I am now. And certainly more of a diva.
The boundless beach is a place to be brave. And so I had two lessons, one with Remi and then a go all by myself--for the first time in my life. At 42? Yes. And it felt fine. I was proud and beaming. We shall see what comes of it. Slippery as sand I can be but hopefully, it is a start.