My birthday was last week and when Jeff asked me how I wanted to celebrate, I think we both knew I would want to celebrate after the fiber festival. I told him I’d love to go to the ocean and that I’d be able to relax and enjoy it after we got back from the festival (and definitely not before, there was too much to do!) He checked the weather forecast (and I looked at our busy schedule) and it seemed that the only day that would work would be Monday. We knew that we’d be getting home late on Sunday night and that we’d be exhausted on Monday, but thought maybe that would work. Sunday night we crawled into bed late by the time we got home and we were so tired, I didn’t think we’d be up for it.
Monday morning we were still tired and there was so much catching up to do around here. We looked around at dishes and heaps of laundry and we unloaded all the contents from our car from the festival and it was strewn all over our living room and throughout our house. Even though a large part of me wanted to start tackling all the tasks around the house and get things back in order, I knew if we didn’t go then that there was a good chance we wouldn’t go. Jeff agreed and we took our tired selves to the car and left all the mess behind.
We were so glad we did that! The weather was beautiful and it felt incredible to be at the ocean, as it always does. There was no better way we could have regenerated after all the activity as of late than to be at the beach that day. We found a cozy little spot in the sand and laid a blanket down. Jeff was so exhausted he fell asleep and took a nap. He could have napped at home that day, but what better place to take a nap than snuggled on warm sand at the beach? Nearby, Bracken and I quietly watched fish in a small creek, searched for little agates, and made mandala designs on rocks with bits of shells, and some pebbles, we found.
Being there felt so soothing on such a deep level. We planned to only go to the beach for the morning perhaps, but it felt so good that we just couldn’t pull ourselves away and lingered there longer into the afternoon. I brought along a favorite book I got at the Botanical Center while we were there. Katie Daisy is one of my favorite artists, I find her colorful artwork so inspiring, and her book makes me so happy. Every page is a ray of joyful sunshine. Birthday money can always be spent on practical things, and I certainly do that as well, but though the book wasn’t something I needed, it was very much something I wanted and was such a gift to my spirit to get that for myself. I’m glad I did.
When we first arrived at the beach that day, I built three rock temples on a large driftwood log. Something about stacking rocks just makes me happy. What made me even happier, though, was when we were leaving the beach and passed by that log on our way out only to see that someone else had added another rock temple on the other side of the log. Sometime while we were over by the creek relaxing, someone had built it. I didn’t see anyone building it and no one was standing by it when we walked by, it was a sweet surprise.
I don’t know how to explain why it made me so happy to see that, somehow it felt like a gift and it brought me such a smile. Peace in the world one rock temple at a time? I’d like to think so. With the heavy heart I feel when I read the news, each act of kindness and peace in the world means all the more to me. I loved thinking that two strangers who never met, were able to touch each others lives that day and make each other’s days a little brighter with the simple act of stacking a few rocks. Simple things can make such a difference, really. I hoped that someone would come across the shell mandalas we made that afternoon and that it would bring them a smile, and perhaps inspire them to sit for a few moments and get lost in making one of their own.