We’re on vacation.
In the midst of garden planning and deciding when to fire up the wood stove in the seed house, we realized it was our last shot at one for the next few months. So we left Vermont on Wednesday, and now here we are, in Cape May, New Jersey. The bird observatory is still quiet as the spring migration is yet to commence in earnest, but the salt water, sand and sea birds are invigorating none the less. Edge’s parents have a condo here, so not only does Waylon get to see the ocean, but he gets to spend time with Gammy and Gampy, too, which means Mama and Papa get to spend time alone together.
We walked on the beach this afternoon, barefoot in the sun-warmed sand. We drew a flower, branching and tall, in the sand, and I wrote:
I AM: LOVE, FREE, IMPERMANENT
High tide will come and wash my words away. There is something invigorating about this. As if it is a rebellious act, a person not focused on the eternal, but rather the momentary. How much of what we do is for posterity–when do we instead let ourselves be washed away, wiped clean without resistance?
Writing on the beach, I left something of myself in the sand, knowing the sand will in turn release it to the water, and my sentiment will be carried away to float out wherever it may.
After, I faced the sea, the white fringed waves crashing and stretching up toward us. “I bet the water is really cold,” I said.
“As cold as it can be. Only one way to find out,” Edge said.
So we rolled up our pants and walked towards it, the water retreating as we approached, then surging forward again, enveloping our ankles, numbing our skin as an icy blanket. Though I began to trot back, whispers of childhood and wonder pulled me toward the sea again, chasing the waves as they slipped back into the deep, then letting them lap once more at my feet.
Tomorrow we’ll bring Waylon to the ocean, too. By then my words will be gone, my sentiment spread out on the waves somewhere, the sand brushed clean by the salt water. What freedom there is in this world of wind and water: to be blown or washed away, to begin anew with each gust, each tide rising in and out.