Saturday, January 25, 2020

Strange Days Indeed

I'm sitting on my blue chair at Grayton Beach. A red flag hangs lifeless behind me while the Gulf of Mexico churns ahead. Also behind me, disconnected from the ocean, is Western Lake. At high tide the ocean flows into the lake right where my chair sits. I'm nervous as the waves creep toward me. Twenty feet away.
However, what with the cars driving along the beach - yes on the beach - and the flatness of the shoreline, this is the safest spot I can find.
A woman in winter boots, sweatpants, and a bikini top walks by.
Chris and I have driven to County Road 30A past Destin this morning and biked along the scenic road and through the beautiful subdivisions. Our first stop: coffee at Bad Ass. The off-season quiet and tranquility was sheer bliss, and a rarity in this area that bustles to a breaking point each summer.
The bridge is out at Puggslyville again, so we decide to visit Grayton Beach, a place we haven't been to in decades.
The magic of the beach eludes me here, and I wonder if that's why we've stayed away. It's grown surprisingly hot and the wave distance is now 18 feet.
The birds are the same, though. They skitter and stand along the flat moonlike expanse of shoreline.
I turn away from the Gulf and toward Western Lake, realizing I've been missing the real view. The blue sky reflects in the calm lake, and behind its pristine beauty stands a row of lofty pines, no doubt lining 30A.The best part of this beach is the road we just came from. I'm ready to get back to it.

Photo credits: Chris Zokan

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Blue Jean Yoga

A gorgeous sunny day at the beach. Unbelievably beautifully sunny, windy, cool. The waves sound delicious. I turn my face to the sun and breathe in deep. Again. Be here now. Don't look back.
This morning I woke up with anxiety. So much, so unnecessary, so what. It occurred to me I'd rather feel ANYTHING, even core-shattering anxiety, than sadness and grief.
But grief came knocking. A few hours into the day, Natalie left for college after a long winter break. Now, sitting on this shore, I wish her well. And Olivia, too. My babies used to play around this chair at this beach, and something about the memory calms me.

Lately I've been reading Deepak Chopra (my latest favorite), watching Jai Dev Singh Kundalini videos (see him here), listening to Abraham Hicks (one of many youtube videos here), and meditating with the Insight Timer teachers ( At the moment, it feels like too much self-improvement, and not enough actual change.
Will all I'm learning make me a better person? And according to whom? I'm not sure today.
The sand beckons, so I go through some blue jean yoga poses and it heals my soul.
Today Chris and I will jump back into our lives: the kitchen remodel, a manuscript edit (still working on the sequel to The Existence of Pity-- it's so close!), work, more work, and plans to open our garage gym.
I don't want to leave, but it's getting cold. First stop, Lowe's. I'm thankful for the healing ocean. After a last deep breath, I gather my chair, and don't look back.

photo credits: Chris Zokan