For a long time, the only beach I went to during the day was the dog beach. Otherwise, I would go at dusk. I like to collect rocks and shells, although I haven’t done that in quite some time. Venturing into the water was not going to happen then. To much seaweed and to many possibilities of creatures for someone living in fear.
Over the past three years, I have made a point to face all of my fears head on. That was not what today was about.
Today was about freedom for me. Today was about going to the ocean, like a normal human being. It was about walking down to the beach with my friend and her two children, all of us coated with sunscreen and wearing beach hats!
When we arrived at the beach and I saw the sand, the water and the people I felt something I remember from so long ago, it seemed it could be from another lifetime.
We picked a spot to set our things and I spread out my towel, my mind still focused on the water. Then I ran. I ran until I was swimming. Under and over the water, letting the salt of the water cleanse me, my mind, my heart and my soul. And I cried. And I laughed. I wasn’t sure which was the appropriate response, but they both came. My friend said let go and do both. I did.
It’s been a long time. Nineteen years.