Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Seaside towns.

John Steinbeck once wrote: "When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked."

A man of wise words, clearly.

A lot of times my soul aches for flight. It just craves a jolt in the routine, a prospect of adventure, a taste of the unplanned. For the most part, my mind conjures up pictures of airplanes and beaches and snow capped mountains and languages that are not English. This is an ache that I have come to accept as a permanent one. Steinbeck knew.

What I am learning however, is that the essence of the ache is not in airplanes and warmer weather (although sun is in a “need/want/covet” category all to itself) but in the broadening of horizons. It is in the discovery of freshness that places and people bring. It is in a certain feeling of freedom. And that doesn’t need to always be thousands of miles away.

Two weekends ago, it was simply in a seaside town.

It is a delicious feeling to be in a car and to be going somewhere that is far away from the familiar - and going to Port Orchard with Markus was all it took.
Having just gotten married in Hawaii, Markus's friends Micah and Hannah decided to celebrate with a reception here in Washington - which I was honored to attend as Markus's visitant. It was beautiful, the newly weds were radiant and Malibu Orange has never been served so well.

We played riotous bouts of catch phrase with his very genial friends, hung out with his family and visited his church…where I learned all about the root systems of Port Orchard trees from the pastors wife who was sitting next to me, and also that she knew Grandpa and Grandma Rubesh! We live in a little little world. We spent time sleeping in and talking and eating good food. Allow me to me to quickly say that a smallish lunch of soup and salad is not a real thing. It was my “smallish” lunch, you see, that caused everyone else’s plates to have to be moved to make room for my freight of an order.

Then we played on the beach all afternoon.

Timer's on, ready, one...t...oh.

I love the Ocean for the understanding that it is untamable. The beach is a wild thing in itself, solid yet changing, a narrow strip that marks the sound from the unrestrained. To feel the sand under my feet, the salt-touched wind in my hair and my face, to live just for a little while on the edge of this cosmic, rising, falling, untamed beauty gives me a rush of freedom you wouldn’t believe. Maybe because I’m filled with awe in the face of something that is so out of my control. I cannot be in control; I can just take joy in it. And this is a freeing thing.



  1. vulnerable: check.

    keep em comin'.

  2. Southworth never sounded so romantic! You're welcome back any time.