That view. With all its softness and familiarity and yet - it's never the same. The cerulean blue sky whispering to the teasing peach, melting into an ombre ocean. The steady mercury tide, measuring predictably in and out like the beat of my heart.
There is something about seeing the ocean after such a long time of not seeing the ocean. That view somehow washes me with calm, a reassurance that everything is just as it should be. There is no second-guessing by the sea. Only acceptance and an overwhelming sense of love.
The salted air and the birds of paradise and the glossy foliage - they just do my heart a whole lot of good. I find that a visit to the ocean costs a lot less than a counseling session (well, that's probably debatable if you're asking Stevie), but the outcome is often the same for me. It untangles all the wiry emotions that have bent their way around my brain, creating confusion and chaos and anxiety. But at the very first sighting of the sea, my lungs fill with deeper breath and something I've been holding on to for far too long is released, and I am always freed of it's tangles.
It's a very good thing we have, me and the ocean.
I come from a long line of ladies who love the ocean and consider a visit the same as therapy. My mom, my sisters - we all have a love for the tide, the shells, the humid breeze, even the messy matted hair. Chances are if you're reading this, at least half of you can relate. Nothing I've shared is profound or new or novel - it's simply true. God created wonders on this earth for us to seek out and enjoy exploring. Proverbs 22:5 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and it is the glory of kings to search out a matter." I like that verse so much. I love this place endlessly.
We visited my sister and her amazing family a few weeks ago in St. Augustine. This little city holds so many special memories for me and Stevie because we honeymooned here (almost ten years ago!) We came down here once when we were dating early on, with a group of people, and it's where I realized I really loved him. Something about this place always makes me feel so much peace about where I'm at in life - I always get reassurance that I am doing exactly what I should be doing.
We did all the things on this trip - walked the downtown (favorite shops are Red Pineapple and Sea Glass), ate the best popsicles (the Hyppo Pop!) and did what most parents of a oodles of children do - eat at home. There are sooo many awesome restaurants in St. Augustine, but in this stage of life, we didn't dare try to take ours out to dinner with us :) My bro-in-law Brad took us out on his boat to a deserted island, where we had a lunch of barbeque sandwiches and mac n cheese. I'll be honest - I felt like quite the fish out of water. I've been on boats a lot before, but it made me realize that we aren't native boating types - the first moment Brad started driving the boat, both of my boys started howling and Everett literally threw his body on the ground of the boat shrieking. Me and Stevie just looked at each other like, "Ummm this is bad." Thankfully we got both of them to calm down, but it just made me feel like our family is so suburban. Haha oh well. We are.
We even had an overlap evening where my younger sister Rachel and her husband Chuck came in town, so all of my siblings and spouses were together. It was the first meal the six of us had together without my parents also being present and it was wonderful! We all felt so hilariously adult, having our adult chit chat about our lives.
Stevie and I escaped to the beach and played around with Everett at sunset. Daxton didn't love the March wind that was in all its glory, so we had to make our oceanside visits brief. But we savored every moment and of course I'm already making plans for a return visit. Is it just me, or do you always need just one more day when you go to the beach?
Thanks Kara and Brad, for letting us invade your space and sleep in your children's rooms and fill your house with our clutter and noise and snacks aplenty. Love you to the sea and back.
P.S. - Similar orange kimono here, jeans here, essential oil diffusing bracelets here, essential oil diffusing necklace here, sandals here.