It is September, when my body draws me downtown again. When I crave the Ocean City where I came of age, of my childhood and wild years, the Ocean City where I first met my love. Now I come seeking that second season outbreath, my charged system heady and crunchy on arrival and aching to unfurl and say ahh.
I build it in to my work day, eager to meet folks on the boards for walk and talks. Together we ease into the new rhythm, let the bodies of the body slow towards the last round corner the year makes of itself. There is still grease on the air but the crowds even with the buoyant shoulder commerce are much thinner now and so my being opens. I find the sweetness: so much more quiet, so much more calm. It’s almost like the tourists too know the footing of slow down, come looking to reset and land the pace.
When I meet my 11:15 today I can see the summer’s taken its toll on them, and we find the comfort of taking alleys and cutting parking lots towards secret spots in the shade. We settle, reconnect. I am in love with this, the in out rhythms that continue to see me through my homegrown life.
We part and I have three hours before it is time to get my daughter. I have purposely scheduled it this way. Today is the first day of fall and do I have time to make it to 50th for wash off the summer swim? 50th isn’t downtown I’ll have to drive but it is my home beach. I also want to write though and these are luxury problems, getting the leisure to have a choice between one or both.
Leisure but also…
The seas are up by the time I make it to 50th. It is the first day of fall and day 100 of my mental health recovery. 100 Days! I don’t realize it until I sit down on the beach with my daily meditation reader and decide to count. Day 100 of committing to taking seriously my mental health. 100 Days of imperfectly finding the gentle curve of trauma dynamics a day at a time in my own body, in my own heartbeat, my own spirit, my own mind. Just like I have taught all my patients for all these years.
Calling my whole self home, to my whole self, with my whole self.
The skies are weighty and before I am even over the dune my skin alerts, the storms are coming that is for sure. This is the beachfront Atlantic stretch that has seen me so far through 45 years and the storms coming will bring the warm temps to an end. The rest of the week is forecasted right on time to be much more like fall.
The water still rides warm though, high roilin seas and 75 degrees.
It is the third time I have gotten to swim this week, making it the most in a week since before I got pregnant. There was a time that only three swims a week would make me itchy! Skin crawly, bitchy maybe, short anyway in dealing at least towards myself. And the folks nearest me I took for granted, probably. But that was before Covid, all the loss, the sadness and insecurities, the madness of that. The fucking burn out. Before becoming a stepmom and finding my forever home. A whole other lifetime ago.
And so it is fall now, the equinox overnight this eve bringing on the official season of transition, the intuitive season of reflection. When we watch what is move to what was, and disappear again. Known too as Mabon, the equinox is the second harvest festival of the year as I practice my walk and symbolized on the wheel of the year by the element of water…And Ohhh
…That I come here too to get to dance with these words as an act, a recovery act, of thank youness. That I can and do! Get to be so damn blessed as to live seaside. To be moved by her winds. As to be moved by the Words, my first religion. To get to get out there, and learn by the reliable wild beat of the tides. How did I get lucky enough to have a home in nature, a home beach! that I consider my own? To get to know the body here, the divot when I enter the ocean where the longshore currents make the hard undertow. The sandbars and where to find them, even in rippy oncoming high tide. The right spots, the where’s and when’s in the grace of the sea, or on land for writing of coffee stops, nearby. Not just what, but how they teach.
How she teaches. The body of my body, laid down again and again against hers.
I really like that old axiom I used to hear a lot earlier in my life, in recovery rooms. When God gives you a gift, the best way to say thanks is to use it.
Happy Autumn, dear friends. Happy Harvest!
That it is Blessed~again
That it Is.