Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Deep Green Sea & Blue Sky Days

I’m sitting on my porch, it’s warm with a cool breeze, the sky is a rich perfect blue. The porch is dirty and messy, but is confident in it’s potential, it knows I have plans for it and will soon be the master room of the house after a long winter of neglect. I’ve got some potted plants out on the rails, the glorious Martha Washington Geranium I successfully wintered over indoors and it’s offspring which I’ve transplanted to it’s own pot. Martha Washington kept my spirits up all winter and if her baby thrives it will be a good omen. Despite my best intentions, I’m unreliable and don’t have the greenest thumb. I’ve got pots of basil and wheatgrass going, to which I’ll add parsley, the first and last for green smoothies and the basil for tomatoes. I’ve already hurt my back gardening, diving recklessly for weeds.

There’s a long, wide bookcase cluttering things up since I rescued it from the trash last year, it weighs a ton, and has seen better days, but I’m hoping to paint it this spring and bring it into the living room, so I can sell the behemoth antique, mahogany piece that came with the house which I’ve grown to loathe. It’s not my style and I feel like an idiot for actually buying it, but when I bought the house I was feeling nostalgic for the three spinster sisters who lived most of their lives here. I felt like if their ghosts came for a visit, the place should still feel a bit familiar, thing is, I don’t really believe in ghosts. It’s the damned furniture that’s been haunting me.

This is the first chance I’ve had to write about our vacation, it’s been several turns of the dial past hectic since I came back, but there is still a part of me relaxed and transformed by the trip.

We had a long travel day down, exiting the baggage claim at 9:30 p.m. greeted by gusts of hot, muggy air, jarring at first, but feeling good immediately. I took off my sweatshirt and socks and got in the car for the hour ride to our condo and the sound of beach from the screened porch.

Next day, after lounging under an umbrella for a bit, I got up and walked straight into the water. It was chilly, but I decided not to feel it, so I kept going, past where the waves were breaking, to the calm water and I laid on my back, arms outstretched {yes, like jesus}, and just floated. Floated and floated in the green water, and when I opened my eyes I could see my blue toenails segue perfectly into the blue sky. Perfect moment. It was just like I imagined all those times in the chemo chair, huddled under blankets, shivering, hurting, feeling sick, wanting to climb out of my own skin. I just floated, feeling warm currents alternating with colder ones and back to warm, the sun on my face, floating, effortlessly, no body to feel, just the warmth and the water.

That’s pretty much what I did every day. I felt calm and peaceful and still do. The boys had fun, we ate fish for dinner and ice cream and I had cold beer after a long ride on the wagon, which tasted really, really good. The shells were addicting, I couldn’t stop picking them up and they’re in endless supply. I got up early and walked on the beach alone, 2 hours passing like 20 minutes. One night I went for a nocturnal walk with my sister-in-law and we got lost, very lost on the pitch black, moonless beach. I was excited to be having an adventure, we walked, and walked and walked and finally found our way off the beach onto the one road on the island, sans street lights, also crazy dark. No one seemed to have lights on and we realized that we were where we had driven for dinner. I have no idea how we got that far and we discovered we are equally navigationally impaired, so naturally we started walking in the wrong direction. Finally we heard soft voices from a porch, so we went up and knocked, and a sweet pair of Swedish cousins, offered us beer, bananas and the use of the gps on their phone to point us on the right course. I was exhausted, but just so glad to be doing something out of the ordinary.

We went on a dolphin cruise and got splashed by dolphin water which has only intensified my new fixation on dolphins, and my irrational belief that if I hug a dolphin I’ll be healed. This is more unlike me than I can say, but it’s true, I believe this. I decided this just before we went to Florida and I was perfectly convinced that while swimming a dolphin was going to come up and nuzzle me. At least, as a good friend points out, It’s only dolphins, not mermaids I’ve become fixated on... at least they actually exist. Seriously though, I’m going to find a place where you can swim with dolphins, can’t explain it, I just need to swim with a dolphin.

Four days is too short for a vacation. I wanted to throw a temper tantrum at the airport on the way home, dig in my heels and scream, “I’m not going.” Alas, I knew that wasn’t going to get me anywhere but ridiculous, so I got on the plane and came home. I finally understand why people go on vacation. I’m sad I haven’t travelled in my life, I’m sad my kids don’t have family vacations to look back on, but there’s no point looking back, forward is the only direction we get to go and hopefully we get to keep going until we’re done.

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