Battle of the Beach
I got a spot two blocks from the beach because I told myself I wanted to walk near the water every day.
The reality is, it’s two weeks into my stay in Pompano Beach and this is the only second time that I’ve managed to make it out to the beach.
Even getting here was a battle of epic proportions… a struggle with myself just to walk out the front door. My brain loves to come up with reasons that this thing that’s good for me makes no damn sense.
It’s going to be hot. What if it rains? Ugh mosquitos. Woman walking alone at night = bad idea (I listen to too much My Favorite Murder). You don’t live here… what if you get lost?!
Of course now that I’m here on a lovely warm night at the beginning of October with no one around.
I’m walking along the sand watching the waves making a mad dash for shore, in a race to collide at the finish line and splash all over the place.
Every once in a while an over-enthusiastic wave hits me mid-thigh and takes me by surprise.
Interestingly enough I think the scariest thing isn’t other people or even being swept out to sea…
It’s that when I look behind me, my footprints have all but disappeared.
Will anyone ever know I was here?
Maybe all we can really hope for in our short time on this planet is to be a temporary set set of footprints, showing those behind us one of the ways forward.
When I set out on this walk, I didn’t think I’d make it to the lighthouse.
I just wanted to see how far I could go.
It’s funny how things get skewed sometimes. Here at the base, the angles are all off.
I know her light shines straight and perfectly level, and if I were higher up that’d be easier to see.
But here at the bottom it looks lopsided. It’s maddening… when the beam is out to sea, it seems to stay low over the water, pointing out the path to dry land. Then as it moves toward me it sweeps upward, pointing overhead and away into clouds I can’t possibly hope to reach.
How can anyone follow a straight path with windmill light guiding the way?
It makes me wonder if most missteps are simply the lack of perspective… or looking at the wrong thing the wrong way at the wrong time.
It keeps us stuck, or it crashes us straight into the rocks.
I didn’t think I’d make it to the lighthouse.
It’s much harder to walk on dry sand. I’m noticing myself slipping and sliding every which way, where it would be easier to walk on the wet sand, packed flat by the relentless waves.
There’s a danger in the easy path – the unexpected waves can hit you, knock you over, leave you stunned and panting for breath. Not unlike the panting you do when walking on dry sand.
I guess you pick your pain, and that determines if the walk was worth the struggle.
The tide’s coming in and it won’t be long now before the easy path I’ve chosen to walk will disappear, leaving behind only two choices: water or dry sand.
Timing certainly plays a part in whether each choice is a good or bad one.
I try to retrace my steps to find my way back to where I was, but my footprints are gone and maybe that’s a good thing.
The path is there even if I can’t see it. My feet know the way even if the steps aren’t there to follow.
Tonight was magical and I’m glad I made the walk.
Tomorrow we’ll see if I win the battle again.
If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.