Sand Dollar



I had the good fortune of reconnecting with a high school friend at an unofficial reunion barbecue a couple months ago. She invited the lot of us to come visit her home in Pismo, an attractive offer for the end of summer. I jumped on it.

By the time the weekend approached, only my sister and me were available to go. I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed. I relished at the thought of quality time with my sister, my friend and her boyfriend (who I had yet to meet!). We got moving a little late Saturday morning on account of me being hung over from bar hopping the night before with my girlfriends, but we made good time, landing in Pismo just after lunch.

Immediately we made our way down to the beach and rushed to the water’s edge, letting the current take our worries, our cares away with it into the ocean. We stood there for who knows how long before making contact with our hosts.

We walked from the cliffs to the pier, met with our hosts and lounged on the beach for a time before going our separate ways. We got a late lunch at the famous Splash Cafe and made the long walk back to the car.

From there, lots of wine was consumed, lots of laughs were had, we went back to the beach at night, rinse, repeat. The stars were gorgeous that night and I had the pleasure of sharing a special moment with my sister that will always stay with my heart. Then she ruined the moment by getting pissed drunk. It was pretty hilarious. Sunday was more of the same with slightly less wine, beach jogging, and my first nude beach. I hated to say goodbye.

Something about the ocean sings to me. It draws me in, distracts me. I can stare at the waves for hours and do nothing else.  At times I was left to my own thoughts in my head as my friends walked far ahead of me.

For the last month, my energy has been spread thin, obsessed with a conquest that couldn’t go anywhere. I’ve let my own projects slide, some of my responsibilities go ignored, and retreated into wonder and hope. This weekend, the ocean, gave me the space I needed to let it go.

For a thrill-seeker I’m not very good at taking risks with my emotions, particularly when fear is involved. I need a sure-thing, security, guarantees. Things that life isn’t well-known for giving without a whole lot of sacrifices, usually too much for the so-called benefits. I’ve been learning this first-hand and slowly over the last four years, but reminders that I’m not free from fear are constant.

The ocean helped remind me that where I am, I decided to be. Every day I make decisions that lead me to where I am in the moment. The moment is where I need to be. Not lamenting in the past or obsessing about the future. Now. I’m happier, more satisfied when I’m in the moment.

It’s rare that I find a fully intact sand dollar on the beach, much less one so tiny. When I picked it up, my sister giggled, and eventually I coaxed out of her what she thought the meaning of it was.

Sand DollarI don’t know if she’s right, but it certainly seems to be potential.

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