Happy Anniversary, discordianbliss.com. I looked back to the first posts on this blog ten years ago, even then marked with a look back and some uncertainty of what the future would hold. I mused on my music collection, on astronomy and advancements in particle physics, a game innovator who I admired, and I wrote about my love for the beach.
The whole of outdoors is a draw to me, I feel similar about my hikes on and to the top of Humphrey’s Peak Arizona, weekends snowboarding or just exploring the trails in Coconino National Forest. Even still, my feelings about the thin line between ocean and sand have yet to fade, that spot in Topsail, North Carolina in particular. I’ve been to other beaches and enjoyed them, but I feel like I left a piece of my heart there on the pier on the east coast.
I wonder how that quiet beach community has changed in ten years. I feel like it was simultaneously yesterday and a hundred years ago that I picked up a pair of coffees from a local coffee shop there. Would I feel a sense of the familiar if I returned? Or would it be like returning to my childhood home, discovering even the house where I lived in grade school had been razed to widen the main road and the market I bought candy and trading cards at was converted into a gym. There is a metaphor in there somewhere.
No, I don’t think I am headed back to that beach soon. Some things are best left to memory, and the thrill of the unknown is the stronger pull for me today. Somewhere on one of the countless lengths of sand I have yet to visit, the wind whispers to me. Beneath the ocean’s surface, the shipwrecks of my imagination hum a siren song. Enthralled, I will find my way.
To my doom or not, my path lies forward.
The spiritual borders on this.
With no phone, laptop or even a watch, my wife, daughter and I walked on the beach. We flew a kite, played in the sand, and got out in the still chilly spring ocean waves. The strong breeze and constant soft roar of the surf was hypnotic. My senses came alive, filling the void left behind by my routine bombardment of information, visual and audio stimuli, tasks, and traffic. We had no where better to be, no deadlines, no reason to look at a clock. Not unwinding; unwound. We were on island time.
My fascination with the ocean and beach, like the deep woods and mountains back home, is rooted in a strong sense of connectedness – call it meditative, spiritual, or just very relaxed. It is my carrot. My self-medication. Take either one or two per year or as needed for an adjusted perspective and deep sense of peace. Plus, it’s legal.
I love the outdoors. I am thankful that my family shares my enthusiasm. We had a great time at the beach on Topsail Island, and as usual we were already planning our next trip before we left.
When I close my eyes, I see waves.
I have a serious case of beach brain. What started as an idea, a tropical getaway, turned into a persistent motivation to leave all my electronics at home and flee to someplace where the lands end and water meet. The sensation borders on the spiritual – the compulsion tingles in all of my senses.
Every task at work eventually arrives at the same place: sand between my toes. Each keystroke just another step on the hot boardwalk. There is only one cure, and make no mistake – I am planning my escape.
Ever since my wife had her surfing lessons through wbsurfcamp last year, I have wanted to get on a board myself, at least once. The water is still very cool this spring, but as my dreams of a beach vacation and reality converge, I am certain the water will be just right when I get there.
Until then, time to set down another empty mug of coffee and get set to dig into another day at the office… right after I shoo the ethereal seagulls from my cube.