Day 1, afternoon
I’m writing with a view of the ocean. And the warm breeze blows through my beach-y hair. It’s a mess, but I don’t mind. We’re on vacation this year and I created a little writing space in the corner of the back porch. Just off to the side where I can still interact with the family, letting the words wander to the screen.
I went away in February. That was different. It was only a weekend and time was more rushed because I was on the church retreat. You can only do so much during scheduled free time.
This beach trip has become a tradition the past few years. I look forward to escaping to North Carolina in the middle of June. Right before summer officially begins. We go to spend time with family, an aunt and a few cousins.
Day 2, morning
I decided to wake up earlier today. I wanted to get a head start on my day and enjoy my corner of the back porch before most of the family gets up.
The waves crash. The pelicans dive. A dolphin swims by and a few fishermen on a boat.
This is a great way to begin another day at the beach. To be inspired.
I left home on Sunday determined to find focus with my writing again. To uncover where all of my words are hiding. I’ve been in a season where the words have been stuck, stuck under the layers of questions in my heart. And stuck beneath the words that come out of my mouth. I’m in the kind of season where I need to speak more than I write. And I’m okay with that because I know the words will come back. Maybe they are already returning as I tell myself to stare at this page and keep typing.
We’re back on porch again, reading, rocking, enjoying the gift of family and the gift of leaving structure behind.
There is something refreshing about not paying attention to time, except when I’m hungry I say. I left all the tasks at home and piles of undone projects that can get in the way. I only brought the books I would read and a few tools for writing.
I’ve always wanted to run away for a writing retreat since I started calling myself a writer two years ago. And now I am with a view of the ocean and the joy of family.
Our first night here we laughed so hard we cried. I don’t remember exactly what was said. We were sharing stories, funny ones from childhood that involve crazy family vacations or siblings teasing other siblings. We also talked about family no longer with us. The memories carry on any time we gather…
We chat about our grandma as we eat spaghetti sauce made from her special recipe. She would make it for us whenever we visited or had an extended family party for a holiday. Now we can see her personality in my 4 year old cousin.
We think about my other grandmother as we play a vintage game called Tumble Words every night. We can’t go to the beach without this game. The competition probably gets more intense each time. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a little crazier when we play Apples to Apples and laugh some more.
We remember my uncle and we miss his presence at the beach. He was still with us the first time we came. His quiet steadiness and deep smile were a comfort to be around. And I loved to watch his faithful dog follow him everywhere he went. He barely left his side.
We can laugh and smile with our memories now. It has been a few years, but I know we all miss these relatives, more so certain days and times of the years. We continue the adventures each year and take these thoughts with us…to the beach or to each other’s houses for Christmas or any special occasion in between.