We had already had a busy day. It had not gone the least bit as we thought it would, but not in a bad way. I had arranged for a friend to take my daughter to a class while I sat through meetings. We met for lunch, then parted again. I had another meeting, they were off to the pool. By the time we got home, we were both fairly exhausted. Luckily we had leftovers in the fridge.
Sometimes though you just get a tickle in your brain. This harebrained idea that is just completely ridiculous. It was almost six pm. I like to be home no later than seven pm most nights. What if, though. What if we just left the house. What if we just went to the beach for the sunset.I could just as easily write the meeting minutes tomorrow. Laundry could be done late at night. There is no rule that says it must be done right then and there. Surely a better solution was to run the dishwasher after the beach while we were sleeping. Before I could back out of it, I told my daughter, “Let’s go to the beach.” Once those words are uttered there is no going back. There just isn’t.
Bathing suits were thrown on,towels were grabbed and a sheet and even a book. Sunscreen was in the car. We were off. In five short minutes we were walking on the beach.
I would like to say we just jumped right in. There was some caution though. We checked the lifeguard station, green flag! Spritzing ourselves with sunscreen, we then laid out the sheet. “Okay now.” Two short words but like a flash of light she was gone. All that remained was a splash in the ocean. She bobbed up a few seconds later and was grinning ear to ear. I dropped all thoughts of things left undone and went into the water.
As we were swimming around heading further and further away from the beach, she asks ” Good thing we don’t have to worry about dolphins!” ” We don’t?” I ask. “Nope they are vegetarians.” ” You sure about that? I am pretty sure they eat fish.” “Well we aren’t fish.” No, we were not fish. I splashed her which proceeded into a very fast and furious splash fight. It was only when neither of us could see and we could both feel the burn of salt water down our throats that either of us stopped.
Sitting on the sheet, watching her play in the waves. I thought,” this is what we needed.”
“Mommy why is some sand black? Is it pepper? Because the ocean has salt so is the black stuff pepper?”
” I am pretty sure it is not pepper.” I answered. It didn’t matter. She was lost in watching the coquina’s burrow back into the sand as fast as she uncovered them.
The sunset was not the sunset I imagined when the thought to go to the beach had wriggled its way into my brain. It was less, it was more. It was gorgeous and dark and stormy all at the same time. It was exactly the sunset I needed to see. We didn’t even get to pretend we heard the sun go “plunk” into the ocean as clouds and far off rain obscured the view. Still it was perfect.
We wrapped ourselves in towels and shook out the blanket. At one point I had tried to read the book, I was distracted by dolphins. They were elusive jumping out past the buoy. There were long moments of scanning before seeing a glimpse of one again. None the less little reading got done. That was completely okay.
” Are we going to shower off before getting in the car?”
“Nah.” I said. I had long ago given up the notion of not bringing half the beach home. Really it is a lost cause.
” But we are all wet and sandy.”
” Well we would still be wet. We will just take a shower as soon as we get home.” I said back thinking she was really quite exhausted.
” But we will get the car all wet.” She whined back.
” Are you listening to yourself? Either way we will be wet silly. It’s fine.”
The entire five-minute ride back home she chatted happily about her day. Really any little thing that came into her head came out of her mouth. I cherished it , driving home listening to her happy chatter. I cherished the silly little conversations. I treasured the splash fight and the sound of her delightful laughter mixing with the ocean waves.
She is in the shower now as I sit at the table pounding the keyboard to get it all out. I want to remember it. I want to remember that sometimes those little wiggles and tickles in your brain. The ones that are so ridiculous you couldn’t possibly act on them. Sometimes those are the best. Sometimes our brain unconsciously knows what we need before we are conscious of what we need. Sometimes it is the body that knows. The balance comes from listening to both your mind and your body.
We had been home for barely an hour when it started to rain. Washing everything to start tomorrow clean and new and sparkly.