Monday, July 15, 2013

Vacations are always too brief.

It's remarkable how quickly you fall into a pattern, and how difficult it is to break out of it.  In just a few days, I got used to simple meals on my little deck, long walks by the water and around the island, returning to the condo and showering in a vain attempt to clear away that resistant film of sand and sunscreen and sweat that you seem to acquire at a beach.
But real life always awaits. After a final lazy morning on the beach last Monday, I headed back to load up my car and drive inland towards my mountains. In May when I went I went up to New England, my birthplace, it felt comfortable. But it did not feel like "home." In the coastal Southeast, however, I settle back in with an ease that always surprises me. The weighty humid air, the salty breeze, the sandy soil beneath my feet - all take me back to childhood camping trips at the beach. As I walked back over the wooden boardwalk to go home, three older women passed me as they headed for the shore. Straw hats and sunglasses shielded their faces, gauzy cover-ups masked their heavy thighs, and the scent of cigarettes and coconut oil clung to them. They all smiled at me and the last one greeted me with a gravelly-voiced, "Mornin'." The folks here are nothing like me and yet they are my people. I found myself turning to watch them as they made their way down to the sand, lugging chairs and drinks and novels, and I couldn't help but smile at their retreating backs. I like to think that they will settle in as I did, gaze out at the shorebirds wheeling over the waves, and breathe deeply.

34 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderfully satisfying end to your vacation. I was going to say 'to your time out from reality', but if all of that wasn't reality, then I don't know what is!

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    1. A reasonable end across the board, I think.

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  2. It was relaxing just to read about your experience.

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  3. Sweet. And bittersweet. At the same time.

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  4. sounds like a good end to the vacation..a little extension...it is a bit bittersweet knowing it could not be but i guess that too was/is good to know...

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    1. I needed to really recognize it, and that helped.

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  5. You do seem to have a way of ending things with people on easy, relaxed terms so that you remain friends. Sounds like a really nice night!

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    1. I don't always manage that, but in this case, especially, there was too much good there to end it bitterly.

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  6. As relaxing as this sounds I don't know how long I could live that kind of lifestyle for. Too quiet, no Internet, no technology.

    Not for me I guess.

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    1. Getting older might change your perspective.

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  7. You are more together than I would be in the case of something that will not be. There is a sense if finality that shadows reality and for me the residual feeling is sadness

    You are painterly with your words here, cs. Very skilled and beautiful descriptions. I can see those women at the beach so vividly, experience the feel of ex boyfriend's body on that makeshift bench

    I read all of this slowly and you took me along in a moment of both solitary and deep connection and communion.

    Love xoxo
    kj

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    1. Oh, kj, there is sadness in spades there.

      And thank you very much - this one seemed to write itself.

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  8. Make that 'a sense of finality' and add fulfillment to the sense of sadness

    xoxo

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  9. I was going to say......oh sure it's the end! But I realize we readers don't really know all that's going on behind the scenes.

    Hope your week back to reality is a great one.

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  10. What Liz said. You seem to be very adept at maintaining friendly contacts with people and not separating with hard feelings. That sounds like a lovely and unexpected end to your vacation.

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  11. Are you sure it's the end? -;)

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  12. Sounds perfect to me!
    Love this post, your words just flowed perfectly.
    What a great ending to your vacation.

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  13. At the risk of sounding a little dim ---Why are you not with this guy? You sound perfect together.

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    1. You can't have a serious relationship with someone who does not want one.

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    2. Damn that reality ...someone who doesn't want or somehow can't have a serious relationship . :-(

      One day you will have that mutuality With a healthy ready guy. i really believe that xoxo

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    3. Oh, I know. The grief is in letting go.

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  14. end of a vacation beginning of another adventure?

    Not directly related to this post but I just found this Ziggy Marley tune that I thought you would relate to the lyrics.
    True to myself by Ziggy Marley
    http://youtu.be/yMEARFbMh0I

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    1. There's always another adventure, it's jus a matter of discovering what it is.

      I'll get to that video when I get a chance.

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  15. That's a real bitter-sweet moment. You know you have to let it go, but that last lingering pleasure is like cake at the end of a meal.

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  16. Your writing is beautiful. In involves all the senses and makes it easy to imagine having such an experience. Sounds like a perfect vacation all around.

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