Saltily & Spaciously Yours
Nicaragua, Feb 2019
A sturdy onshore wind seems to pick up every day an hour or two before lunch. Which coupled with morning surf lessons has made for unfavorable paddling opportunities. My poor paddleboard, sits shiftless in office, in plain view of the water I’d like to take it on. And so yesterday I took the big kite to the neighboring beach. I dawdled curiously on the twenty to twenty-five minute walk there. Scaling over the rocky, volcanic shoreline at low tide. Past dozens of tiny tide pools populated with stranded minnows; one large tide pool with a local family swimming, cooling off in the high, dry mid-afternoon heat. I marveled at the functionality of my EarthRunner sandals that allowed me to easily explore the rough, slightly musseled terrain that was the reason most humans went to the neighboring beach by road. Leaving the oceanside clambering to hermit crabs, beach hounds, one elderly local man I saw who sang to himself, and me.
The deep cracks and crevices of the tide gone out reveal innumerable broken remains of conch shells that should I ever find a whole one, I imagine I would be thoroughly impressed by it’s size. I pick up and examine some of the large parts and pieces as I bramble along. Their faded, brown and white outers made of thin, hard clamshell-like layers crack and flake away as they seem to have grown brittle with age. This contrasts starkly to their smooth, pearly, pink and coral inners that have been sheltered from the outside world. I wonder if the polished interior would’ve sheltered many a sea creature over the course of it’s lifetime. Where had each shell wandered? How long does one explore the ocean floor before it washes up here… tired, in pieces, ready to crumble into it’s next sandy lifetime. The queries of my rested mind, feeling spacious in the slow, hot pace of life here. But alas, Guilt never ceases to peek in. As though by default, Guilt, triggered by the rare feeling of spaciousness tries to tell the mind there are other, more worthwhile endeavors that urgently should be undertaken. As though combing this spec of the Pacific’s perimeter and deliberately inspecting big, broken shells was not a worthy way of investing my valuable time. And I suppose that a big part of what I am doing here is just that: trying to unravel these tangles in my psyche that insist things such as ‘busier is better’… that just about any activity would be more “worthy” of time than this wandering, curious stroll. When the crime is lack of busy-ness, my mind has been conditioned to sentence me to any number of well mapped out to-dos. Does that sound familiar? I know I’m not alone.
I also know deep down what is true is that these simple moments of be-ing are in fact worth infinitely more than filling my time spinning wildly like a top; whirring busily to the point of collapsing, exhausted, ill, having not seen a single thing. Here, on this little spec of the Pacific’s perimeter, my spinning top has slowed to the wonderful point of losing it’s ability to balance… toppling clumsily to a standstill, and spilling out the contents of ‘what I thought I knew’ in doing so.
What I am allowing this trip, during this time here… in this remote oceanside place, without so much as a corner store within walking distance… is the space to spend time deliberately. Doling out this most valuable of currencies with intention. This desire of mine is so strong, and comes from a place within that must be as ancient (and is certainly as mysterious to me) as the giant crumbling conches I am so taken with. No logic I can come up with can explain it. This seeking to undo false beliefs, a relearning of something truer and more essential than I yet know how to describe. A tapping into an energy that is more than just mine. The energy that writes these words and guides slow, deliberate walks - I feel a knowing is the same energy that steers the tired, fractured conch to the rocky shore, on this spec of coastline somewhere in Nicaragua. The same energy that sets the sun, and sweetly rises the moon. Knowing that the power that is within all that science dutifully explains is the same as the magic that expertly drives all processes that somehow masterfully guide themselves without known explanation.
As such, I read. I write. I wander. I choose to sit quietly, to move curiously, to share vulnerably. And to pour love into these quiet, seemingly ordinary moments that make up my life.
Saltily and spaciously yours,