Changes in latitudes, Changes in attitudes
Last weekend, for the first time in about a dozen years, I stuck my toes in the sand. It was Kevin’s birthday, so we decided for a treat to head to Cape May, NJ for a couple of days.
It was bliss…mostly.
Allowing myself a “change in latitude” after working from home for the past six years – not to mention the sequestering of the pandemic – caught me off guard a couple of times during the course of the weekend. The first time came as we were simply backing out of the driveway. I blessed myself, said a little travel prayer, and suddenly felt tears well up in my eyes. “Oh no,” I thought, “what’s this about?”
As we pulled onto the highway, I practiced some gentle allowing with myself. “I think there’s a part of me that’s afraid to leave the house, the cats…it’s been so long,” I mused aloud.
Kev nodded in kind understanding, giving me space to metabolize my feelings. It wasn’t too long down the road that I was able to sooth and assure my nervous, fretful parts that all was taken care of, we were safe, and gradually I felt my anxiousness turn to excitement at the peaceful weekend ahead.
The other instance that caught me off guard occurred as I was floating in the ocean. On our last day, we savored a few sunny hours at the beach before departing. It was then that I decided to allow myself to do something I hadn’t done the two previous days.
You see, the tide had been high when we hit the beach on Friday and Saturday. And so I only went in up to my knees and splashed around. But on Sunday before coming home, we went to the beach early and the tide was low, and I found myself summoning my courage to get all the way in the water.
Courage? I needed courage? I never had been afraid before…
I waded out beyond the breakers where Kevin was floating, welcoming me with a broad smile. But once there in the gentle rolling current, away from the breaking waves in the safe, soft, sandy center of it all, I teared up again.
“What the heck?” I shook my head in confused frustration. I was even a little annoyed with myself for “ruining” such a nice moment. The briefest annoyance, tho, was quickly replaced by curiosity as I honored my own mysterious process in the moment.
Perhaps it was the warmth of the sun or the movement of the waves cradling me. Maybe it was being away from my typical routine and responsibilities. Or maybe it was simply that I didn’t dismiss my own precious feelings, confusing though they were. Floating there, I began to hear my inner wisdom piecing the puzzle together. I realized with a start that this was the first time I had felt healthy since 2015 when my autoimmune disorder first blasted on the scene.
I looked at Kev with a smile and tears in my eyes as we drifted peacefully in the big blue sea and I said in surprise, “I feel whole.” It seemed that a fearful part of me that was stuck in the sickness of the past, cautiously sitting on the shore, had actually caught up with the rest of me and gotten “back in the swim” quite literally!
I thanked my tears as I dove back into life again.