I was on a search for connection. I hadn’t had time to grieve the loss of my grandma or soul-search until vacation. Time away is more than indulgence in delicious foods and drinks – it’s an intentional practice of stillness, purging the mind of everything that ‘needs to be done.’ I guess you could say it’s an ‘emptying’ of one thing and a ‘re-filling’ of another. Maybe even a re-calibration.
My mind is always busy. I am constantly taking stock of every social exchange, looking for ways to be productive and feeling overwhelmed when I don’t have time to get ‘life’ in order. It took a few days of a beach vacation to settle my busy mind.
It was one late-afternoon in the middle of my vacation, right before the magical hours of sunset. Immersed in warm, salty ocean water, my body relaxed and my mind set at ease, I noticed a child-like hunt for treasure. Wading in the water a short distance away vacationers reached below the surface to the bed of the ocean. Each plunge un-earthed rocks and shells from beneath their toes. Sifting through their findings by holding each rock and shell up to their eyes for approval, the treasure-hunters let go of the less precious ones and kept the best ones close. For those who seemed as if they could afford expensive things these natural treasures appeared to hold great value. Even more than the rocks and shells themselves, it was the child-like hunt for treasure that appeared valuable to them. Maybe only kept for a day by their beach chair, or taken home and placed in a decorative dish, these rocks and shells would become a reminder of sun-kissed skin, salty ocean water, letting-go of less-precious ‘stuff’ and discovering nature’s treasures.
I mindlessly watched the treasure hunt and occasionally joined in. I sifted through my own treasures, allowing myself to let go of the less-precious ‘stuff’ to be drawn towards connection. Late-afternoon in the middle of my vacation, right before the magical hours of sunset, I felt connected to the ocean, sand, sun, hunters and treasures.
The ocean, a large salty bath gently rocking my buoyant body to and fro.
The splash of ripples on my shoulders and the sporadic taste of salt water on my lips.
The sound of the shoreline like a lullaby – putting to rest all worries.
The sand like memory foam parting ways with each step, leaving a brief remnant of my every move before being washed away.
The sun heating my body to match the temperature of the air.
These experiences drew me closer to the connection I was searching for.