Today is my last full day of vacation in this most amazing place. I will come back here. Soon. I have decided that I need this. I need this place. This place where I can breathe. Not pressured, fit it in, barely notice breathing. But away from it all, deep inhalations of life being lived in the moment. Here is where I am my best self. Here is where it all makes sense, even though none of it makes sense.
Today the sun is shining which is a nice change but to be honest, I am really learning to love the cold, damp, wetness. I like the severity, the cool that requires coziness to be soothed. I like the need for a fire every day in July. I love that I have lost track of the date, the time of day and haven’t checked my email since Tuesday. I like that I am here on this cliff, living, breathing, taking each moment in.
How is breath the entire foundation of life, and yet, I do it all day long every day and totally miss it? What a thing to sit and simply notice the breath entering and leaving your body. What a remarkable, awe inspiring thing that I totally neglect, abuse, and miss far too often.
The waves, their motion to and fro, back and forth, in and out, remind me to breathe here. I allow my breath to roll with the tide, slowly moving towards and then gently moving away. Each wave, each breath bringing me closer to the place where I exist in real time, this life, this me, this moment.
While life feels good here, I know that it doesn’t just exist here. This is not the only place where deep breathing occurs. It is available to me at all times. But I didn’t know that before I got here. Or perhaps, I did know it but I forgot, I forgot a lot. And Irish Beach is the place that I came to remember. Day in and day out, breathing each breath and being grateful for the air’s crispness, its breeze, its heaviness and its lightness.
What I have learned this week is that each breath is exactly the same and totally different. No two are alike and yet, no two are really all that different. They are both the same, the in and out motion each dependent on the other, the in cannot be without the out and the out cannot be without the in.
I hope that I never forget that breathing is the foundation of all life, for all things. The exchange of used air for new air, the foundational element. How could I live this long and not know it like I know it today? How could I breathe in and out all these years and miss that I am so lucky to be here, breathing in and out. The breath in and the breath out anchor me to this life I am privileged to lead. Privileged to enjoy. Privileged to survive all that I have thus far. Life will bring more challenges because that is what life does. And I can meet each one with this breath of life, this in and out, this quiet, abiding with the breath each moment of all my moments.
And when I forget, I can return to this place on the edge of the coast, where breathing is easy, and the pace slow. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, a place that will always support my return to my most fundamental and foundational stepping stone in life: breathing in and out, repeatedly.