Thursday, May 18, 2006
awe & immensity
It's so easy to let things fall out of your life. To get busy and forget simple, joyful, basic things like standing on a beach on a sunny day with cold waves washing over your feet, like doing a handstand, like camping, like traveling a new road, map in hand (maybe), not knowing what vista or village may be around the next bend. And then when you by chance DO those things again after years of not, it kind of scorches you. Memory, rediscovery, this surge through your nerves, this adrenalin. And also, regret for the neglect you have allowed to happen. Until today, I didn't even really realize it had been -- I'm ashamed to say -- years... let's say five years... since I had stood in the surf. I've stood on cliffs and looked out at the sea, but I haven't had my toes in the ocean in far, far too long. And I could kick myself for letting that happen.
Today Jim and I took his mama, who's visiting from California, to the Oregon coast. It was a perfect 70 degree day, sunny, breezy, and magnificent, and we spent the morning shopping and eating in charming Cannon Beach, then drove south just to see what was there. We came upon a little overlook for Arcadia Beach, a state park with a trail down to a cliff-cupped beach with sea stacks tumbled offshore, and we walked down to the water. Such a simple thing to do. But that feeling, I'm sure you all know it, and hopefully you haven't let yourself forget it like I have, that feeling of awe and immensity and gratitude and grace that sweeps over you standing at the ocean... it hit us like a wave and we were giddy as children. It WAS like a shot of adrenalin. It made me want to run and turn cartwheels and try gymnastics I haven't attempted in years. It made me GIDDY. It made me feel twelve, and energized, and enraptured. And ashamed. Of the way I let the months slip by without celebrating the world, and the sea, and my toes and fingers, and ferns and rivers, and driftwood and stars.
We had to turn around and head back to Portland, but Jim and I resolved to go again in no less than two weeks and explore further south, where there are fishing towns and antique stores and kayaking in an estuary. I've said it recently but I'll say it again, I'm NOT going to keep letting life slide by unnoticed. Yes, we have a lot of work to do, drawings to draw and books to write, but we also have a lot of world to see, trees to climb -- I want to climb a tree and sit in it and look out. I want to swing on a rope out over water and let go. I want to sit on a dock and dangle my feet. I want to eat taffy and shrimp and look for otters and killer whales. And there's no good reason on earth that we haven't been doing that all along, except that we just forgot somehow. But now that my toes remember the ocean, I hope they won't let me forget again anytime soon!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 10:23 PM