Don and I pack up today and return home. We gave ourselves a month of rest in Florida. It was just what we needed. I plan days of Yoga classes, salsa dancing, painting and writing. My busy agenda gives way to different rhythms. We have Yoga two mornings, Salsa dancing once. I paint very little. I write and meditate most days.
We welcome a visit from our two children. It is a rare treat to have both of them all to ourselves. We laugh, eat, walk the beach, share memories and enjoy their company.
Don and I also delight in days of uninterrupted togetherness. Most days include walking on a beach of sugar white sand. A lot of time we stare at the water, especially as the sun makes her appearance and at sunset her disappearance.
Mostly I watch waves.
Sometimes they are forceful, noisily crashing on the beach. Other times they softly caress the shore. I spend time working on my upcoming documentary. That is exciting and demanding. Like the sea my energy is intense and then still.
Slowing down is a gift we give ourselves. Few of us can take a month. All of us can take short periods of pausing. These breaks let us ask important questions. Don’t get me wrong, I love activities, engagement with others and meaningful projects. But racing from here to there creates an energy pattern that is so different from the one that emerges while watching the sunrise and set.
Under the sea’s hypnotic rhythms I realize, once again, that we are part of an unfolding Mystery. I start to ask important questions; Who am I? Where am I going? Oh yes, I have the quick and easy answers that my roles provide: wife, mother, grandmother, social worker, author, and now filmmaker. Yet, I want to know who I am at a soul level. That exploration takes time and reflection.
Journaling is a way I pause. It’s a practice I’ve used for decades. What is in all those journals? My promise to read old journals has lived in my heart for a while. So I pack a suitcase of random journals and bring them with me. I spend hours reading them. There are some gems of awareness. There are some boring parts. Reading page after page, I see my earnest intention to connect with others and myself. It’s clear that my life’s work is to encourage self-expression.
We are back home. The sun will come up through my kitchen window tomorrow morning. The same sun I watched for the last month over a magnificent body of water will likely look different shining through bare branches. It will remind me of the same questions that floated to the surface in Florida. I will pick up my journal and continue to ask…
Who am I?
Where am I going?