i took a walk tonight because
the sky looked like this...
and when the sky looks like this,
it’s impossible to stay inside.
i walked in search of a little beach house
i had seen online…
a little gray beach house with purple shutters.
it's absolutely adorable.
and it's for sale.
it’s smaller than the garage of my last house
and listed for more than twice
what that house cost.
but it’s cute.
and it’s on the beach.
and adding to all the cuteness
were two bright pink adirondack chairs
on the front porch...
that was all that was needed
to kick the daydream machine
that is my mind
into high gear…
excited about the possibility of owning it,
or a house like it,
i walked away already redecorating
its interior and wondering
if my bedroom set would fit,
even though it’s way out of my price range.
not that i'll let that
deter me from dreaming…
i’m all about someday dreams.
after all, it was just a little over a year ago
that i wrote these words
at the time, this was a way-off-in-the-future,
but life twisted and turned
in some pretty crappy ways
that lead me to a pretty happy place…
renting a place on the beach
and dreaming boldly
of buying a house with bright purple shutters.
walking back from the house that’s for sale
to the one i’m living in for the next ten months,
i began contemplating all the things
i want to accomplish this year.
i looked at my iphone
and clicked on the countdown calendar
i created when i moved back
to my favorite spot on the island
one wild precious life: 319 days
i named the countdown calendar
after the mary oliver poem
i wrote about in a post a few weeks ago,
and set it to go through
june 30, 2012
when my lease ends.
already it feels like not enough time.
as i walked, i began making mental lists
of all the things i want
is one of my favorite words…
and the one i was thinking
when the butterfly appeared...
tell me this, do you think the caterpillar
knows its destined to be a butterfly?
those words are from a cadence card
that I wrote a few summers ago.
i think of those words
when change is uncomfortable
and i have no idea what’s next.
i’ve had lots of opportunities
to think of that quote
since i first wrote it.
it’s funny, but not surprising,
that the butterfly appeared
right at the moment
i was thinking about transformation.
things like that happen here.
i bent down and snapped a few photos
with my iphone.
she looked so beautiful,
this winged messenger,
rocking back and forth on the waves
in the light of the setting sun.
feeling like a butterfly in the water
was most definitely a sign,
an affirmation of my inner-knowing
that being near the water
is where i’m meant to be right now,
i continued on my way,
it wasn't five minutes later
that i was stopped in my tracks
by this beautiful sand art.
i actually gasped when i saw it.
my iphone’s battery was almost dead
and the tide was getting closer
and so i practically ran back to my place
to grab my camera.
i stood there in awe
wondering about the generous
and talented creative soul
who molded sand beneath a hot august sun.
i took photos from every angle
and was glad when i did
because i wouldn’t have noticed
the star in the mermaid's hair had i not.
a mermaid with a star in her hair.
does it get any more magical than that?
actually, as you'll see,
i sat down to watch the ocean call the mermaid
and her friends home,
but in the end,
i couldn't bear to watch
and had to walk away
before the rising tide
spilled across the shore.
it was during those moments
that i met a woman
who was also admiring the artistry
of an anonymous artist.
we talked for a bit
and as i was walking away she said,
“do you want to photograph
the shark’s teeth i found?”
that’s the way people are here.
beachcombers recognize in each other
a reverence for the sea and shore,
and humbly offer whatever gifts
the sea has placed in their path.
i headed home feeling happy
and full and was lost in thoughts
of mermaids and butterflies
and little houses with purple shutters...
and that's why it took me a minute
to realize someone was calling out to me.
there she was again--
the woman with the sharks teeth--
asking, “have you ever seen a sea turtle excavation?”
this night just keeps getting better.
as we made our way
to a small group of people,
i quickly learned a few basic facts:
sea turtle excavations take place
three days after the eggs have hatched.
at this time, the nest is examined
to see if any other babies survived.
one by one, the turtles were set in the sand.
they reminded me of babies learning to walk.
most took off in the wrong direction.
one or two took to the water right way.
the waves rolled in, toppling
and turning the turtles around.
that’s how they made their way to the sea.
that’s how i’ve made my way here too.
like the sea turtles,
i am at home both on land and in water.
still, i’ve been wondering
and worrying about
i’m going to balance
my love for friends and family back home,
and a love for the ocean
and connectedness with this island
where i equally feel at home.
all along i've been afraid
that i might have to choose
one place over the other.
watching the baby sea turtles
made me realize
that i don’t have to choose.
like the turtle with its shell,
home is wherever i happen to be
at any given moment.
tonight was the most magical of ordinary evenings,
wild and precious
in each and every way.
here's a super short video
of one of the baby sea turtles.
i love the reflection of the little girl
dancing in the background.