Today I decided to do something I’ve wanted to do for ages. There’s a lagoon between my town and the next town South. From the last proper public staircase down to the beach, you can only walk South at low tide. But you can walk – and there’s no public access for miles, so it’s deserted. I’ve always wanted to walk from my town to the next. And I never have.
I’ve looked down that stretch of beach a million times in my 43 years. My grandfather used to get up early and walk that stretch of beach every morning. It feels remote, and secret. Having been inspired by a good book about walking, I checked my tidetable… and I went.
I left before the turn of the tide, and walking down I was virtually alone for over a mile. Just me, the houses to my left, and the Pacific Ocean to my right. I walked not just to the other side of the lagoon as I’d originally planned, but clear to the beach cliffs in the next town down. Ended up with a three mile round trip.
I washed a few falsehoods out to sea and left with a few truths. Much of that cannot be put into words, but I’ll bring you the bits …
- I’ve been weak for going on ten years. I’m not weak anymore. I’m strong. I left the lie of being weak in the sand.
- I love the athletic me, the strong me. That’s the person I want to show off. That’s the inner self I’ve been trying to reach. (And the woman I keep expecting to see in the mirror).
- That dog I’ve been daydreaming about? That dog is the me I want to be. Protective, big, strong, fluffy, chill, loving… and active. It took a wave splashing me of a sudden to shake that loose, but it answers “why am I so angsty about wanting this dog that’s so unavailable?”
- I put timidity on some time ago, and like any too-small garment, it’s a struggle to get out of. I’m not a timid person. Careful? Yes. Timid? Not at all. Somewhere I lost that. I took it back today.
- I crave time outdoors. Anytime I spend some serious time in nature, I come back knowing how deep this need is. But it’s a struggle to find a solitary spot, a place where you don’t have to look at the hand of man, a little bite of wild in the middle of Southern California Suburbia.
I think that’s enough. But I found some of who I am today… and I found a good gob of courage too.
The walk was good for my body – it was better for my soul.