If you are ready, I shall continue my little story...
The sedative effect of the ocean sent me into a sound and sweet sleep for the night. I wake at first light to the slight chill of morning fog that has seeped in through the windows. I shuffle outside to the wood locker gathering bundles of cut logs, their woody scent clinging to my sweater. Once the fire is lit, I make my morning coffee and stare out again at the sea. Antsy to hit the sand while the tide is still low, I walk down the bluff trail to the beach. The fog is already lifting, both literally and figuratively. I can't help but smile as I hop-skip over the exposed rocks, feeling like a kid peering into tide pools looking for creatures.
I breathe deep and walk until the sun is bright in the sky. Back up the trail and time for breakfast.
My favorite cafe lurks just outside of town. They bake everything from scratch, loaves of the most amazing dark molasses bread, pies - all kinds, hash-browns done to perfection. It's the kind of place that the local regulars keep their own coffee mugs behind the counter. How many breakfasts have I eaten in these booths? How many years has it been? Long enough to recall I was still wearing combat boots with vintage petticoats!
After I am well fed, I head North to Neskowin. Taking the back roads past verdant green fields, I roll down my window and yell “Hey Cows!” I swerve down the secret lane; I park at the private gate. I walk past the cedar shake vacation homes to the beach. I look up the hills that flank the dunes and marsh, the little bridge that crosses onto private land. We used to harvest wild rose hips here, with the owners permission. There is a flirtation with disappointment when I realize I have probably missed the wild flowers on Cascade Head.
This is my beach, all mine! Miles of sand with nary a soul but myself and two Blue Herons at the shore line.
I walk and hum feeling small and safe, happy inside of my skin. It seems my heart beats and my blood pumps in rhythm with the waves. The wind tangles my hair as I think about my little family at home, how very precious they are to me and how lucky we are to have found each other; each of us individuals making up a whole unit.
I sail back down the coast highway re-kindling an old musical flame, I turn Squeeze up to eleven and sing along to Goodbye Girl.
Back at the cottage, I settle myself into the reading nook or maybe better known as the daydream bed.
For a moment I ponder the the art of feminine maintenance - which often eludes me. It is not lost on me though, for as the song goes, "I enjoy being a girl!" There just seems to be other priorities most of the time. I put some Chuck Berry on the boom box, dye my hair, paint my nails and do the sort of dancing you do when no one is watching.
I think about a time in the future when my daughter might make some of these trips with me, just us girls at the edge of the world dancing and singing and skipping on the sand.
I search for treasure; agates, shells, sea glass and smooth rocks that feel like wishing stones...all collected in a jar to bring back to my girl. Gifts from the sea.
As my time here comes to a close, on the last night just before I light the fire, I must make one last walk. I sprint to the beach only to have the wind knocked out of me by the bulk of the horizon. The sun is setting, the ocean is the color of a pearl, the sky is wide open and it’s just too much. I have to take up a big stick for ballast and I still can’t breathe. A mile later I can finally rest and look out. Out there over the waves, hangs a primordial memory that feels suspiciously like heart break and home. The gravitational pull of instinct and deep longing and a gratitude I am unable to express.
You must click on the pic!
This short journey has filled me up again, sustenance for the following year, it has given me peace and a quiet I so needed. I have re-connected with myself and that is good. So now on the drive home, I find myself excited to re-connect with my family and to tell them my story of a little cottage by the sea.