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Day 82 -Christmas, Hot Springs & Beach Walks.

What a fantastic day! I have to say that I had one of the nicest days I have had in a long time. It was filled with warm wishes from my children, loved ones and friends. There was an appropriate level (for me) of alone time and time spent with others. There was giving and gifts galore but not the kind you find under the tree.


It was a lovely day all the way around. Probably the most cherished gift of the day was lounging in bed facetiming with my daughter as she showed me every single gift she received from her dad. She tried on outfits, asked my opinion and then just chatted on and on about everything and nothing. She was happy. And she wanted to share that with me. I was so grateful that I was a part of her day even though I was miles away.


I had a lovely chat with my son too. He was more engaged in his day there but we talked a couple of times and he filled me in on fishing, fishing poles and fishing trips to the Gulf of Mexico for Spring Break.


Despite the threat of rain, my friend Deya and I decided to hike to the hot springs and brave whatever the weather threw our way. While fully prepared and dressed for a cold, wet hike, the day surprised us with sunshine and heat. The springs were occupied but not overcrowded. We got one to ourselves and sat submerged in murky, heated water while gazing at the ocean through the tree lined landscape. It was beautiful. The people were chill. It was quiet and peaceful and rejuvenating.


When we were almost back to the car, there was an Osprey just sitting in a low tree branch searching the canyon for his Christmas dinner. He was huge and still and magnificent. We watched him and he watched us, ever mindful of our presence. It felt like such a gift to see him so close. It was hard to breakaway, his energy and grace like a magnet with a hard release.


Deya dropped me at my car which was conveniently located at my church...the beach. My dog knew where we were and her brown eyes searched my face for a hint that despite the 6 mile hike, she would get her Christmas gift to run the beach. Of course she would. And she ran, it was low tide and she ran across tidal pools like gravity did not apply to her. She ran and ran until all the birds were off the beach (at least her part of the beach). We stopped to talk to random strangers who were impressed with her grace and speed. We talked dogs, Christmas tidings and made brief connections while the dogs worshiped in a different way. I found joy in the quiet pounding of the surf as I watched my dog’s unbridled joy abound through waves and sand.


I have a ritual whenever I am at the beach. I walk to the most distant part and write in the sand whatever I need to let go of: a lover, a friend, an idea that no longer serves me, a feeling I have outgrown. I write it in the sand and then watch while the ocean washes it away. I have done this for as long as I can remember. I love the sound of the letters being etched into the sand which are quickly melted away by the lapping waves. It is healing for me.

Sometimes I write down fears or sorrows. Sometimes ideas. Always something I need to release and let slip away from me.


I walked for miles yesterday but I could come up with nothing. There was nothing that I needed to release. There was nothing I needed to let go of...there was nothing that I needed to send to its watery grave. It was unbelievable to me that there was nothing I was holding onto. Nothing that needed to be released. I walked for miles but still came up with nothing...so I wrote “nothing” in the sand...


I felt content. I felt happy. I wished for nothing to be different in my life. I was happy with all of my life’ s circumstances just as they were and are. I marveled at this most rare moment when all was well internally and externally.


I relished in my day outside. From the mountain hot springs to the coastal shore. How I did both in a matter of minutes. How some people would never see either in their lifetimes.

I sat and watched the surfers commit their bodies to the surf. Becoming one with the water. A union of man and matter. I watched them float and bob in the cool water, shedding grace in every ride.


By the end, I was frozen to the core. But the cold felt good and life affirming. The dog and I wet and freezing. Both in need of a hot bath or shower.


I drove home to soak in a different type of hot tub. As I lay in bed, reviewing my Christmas, I was struck by how much the day contained despite its gentle pace. I was grateful for my day. I marveled at how far I have come. Walking the beach without a broken heart. All the times, I went to the shore to commit my own salty ocean to the larger Pacific. As I drifted off, I could not recall when it happened, but I knew that I was finally at the center of my own life which made this Christmas the best one ever.




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