Today was a very gray day. Off and on there was drizzling, misty rain. Sometimes it fell heavier, and sometimes it stopped for a short while. I managed to complete a couple of errands I had set for myself and was on the ride home. My route went by the ocean and on a whim, I stopped.
I divested myself of sneakers and socks, rolled up my pant legs, and went down to the sand. For a while I simply took in the vast expanse of the ocean ebbing in on never ending waves to flow back out and repeat in cyclical fashion. Not going too far from where I entered the beach, I walked back and forth, all the time contemplating the grayness around me. Sure, if I looked too far to one side or the other I could see signs of human habitation. Keeping my focus narrow allowed me to soak in what nature had to offer.
The swooshing of the breaking waves, sound of water rushing up the beach toward me and sliding away, the stillness in the air during the pause of rain was all very soothing. I listened. I watched. I closed my eyes and absorbed through every spot of exposed skin the reminder from nature that nothing stays the same. Even here on the beach, it all looked continuously similar, but was persistently changing without regard for any human construct.
Looking back to gentle, rhythmic crashing waves, I stepped forward enough for the creeping edge of water to find my toes. It was cold, but not icy, just autumnal. Absorbing the sensation, I resumed my walking back and forth. Slow, steady, measured paces. Deep breathing. Trying to pull in to my being the impact of being out here meant. Sometimes the water would barely graze the bottom of feet, sometimes it can up to my ankles. Eventually, I grew used to the temperature, and it became one more thing to enjoy.
How close did I live to the ocean presently? How often had I wanted to stop and do exactly what I was doing now? How often had I worried that even a delay of a couple of minutes on any given day could be disastrous? But, here I was. This could be part of my new normal. My phone was back in the vehicle. I had no where pressing to be.
I could breathe.
Not sure how long I paced back and forth. It does not matter. At the end of what I deemed to be enough time, the rain began to fall again. So, too, did my tears. Not the hysterical, wrenching sobs I have had of late, but gentle tears mixed in with the drops of rain. This was a release.
It was in this time spent observing the gray, never ceasing ocean beneath the gray sky of a rain clouded day, that I realized I have changes coming. While my heart may be heavy, and I may have moments that I feel as though I can no longer continue forward, change never stops. I will reform, just as the appearance of the beach does with the continual agitation of the ocean. Just as the sky will not stay gray and we will see blue and sun again.
This is my time to grow.
And I know that I can always return to the ocean, to forests, to parks, to moving water, to grassy areas, to any place in nature and see, and know, that I am not stagnant. Change is coming. Change is welcome. The process may not be swift, but it has already begun.