On Friday night, with my wine glass in hand, after two long professional days and a third day working in my classroom, I announced, “I want to go to the beach this weekend!”
My husband and my visiting in-laws and I made plans to head to Popham Beach the next morning.
Happily, the forecast was accurate, and on Saturday morning we arrived at the beach to find warm, welcoming temperatures, stunning clear blue skies and gentle surf.
We walked along together, greeting other beach walkers, exclaiming about the beauty of the day, chatting about this and that. Then, slowly we drifted apart. My in-laws followed their dog’s exploratory path. My husband stopped to chat to a surf fisherman. I wandered on ahead, snapping occasional photos.
After a while, I realized that the beach was empty around me. I stopped walking and turned to face the ocean. I closed my eyes.
“Absorb this moment,” I told myself. “Feel the warmth of the sun. Feel the solidity of your feet planted in the sand. Breathe deeply and smell that fresh salty air. Feel the breeze on your skin. Listen to the wind and the steady rush of the surf. Remember this moment. Build a sure, deep memory that you can hold close as the school year begins and through the coming busy, busy days.”
I waited for several, slow moments.
Creating a memory to sustain me.
After one more long, deep breath, I opened my eyes, and looked around. Ahead of me, other beach goers wandered and their dogs raced along happily, sniffing, exploring. High above, an osprey circled, and a few cormorants flew by, skimming the waves.
I turned back to see my husband approaching. As he walked up to me, I slipped my hand in his, and leaned into his side briefly. Then we walked further down the beach together.