This weekend was the start of Spring Break. We're forty-eight hours in to it, and I feel like we have milked it for everything it's worth.
On Saturday morning we brought on coffee down to the beach. The tide was the lowest I have ever seen it and some of the cliffs had fallen during the night. We were able to walk farther along the shore than I ever have. It felt like exploring a new land, though it was just a few feet beyond the same stretch of land we go to nearly every day.
It felt both familiar and completely new.
We walked up the hill for lunch and came back for a few more hours afterwards. I finally forced myself to go back home because I was afraid Arlo was getting too much sun.
I'm noticing that the kid's are getting freckles and their hair is getting lighter. It doesn't take long for spring to works her magic.
As we walked along the shore, there were scientists and hobbyists searching for fossils. Calvert County is one of the few places in the world you can find fossilized sharks teeth. Beach combers come from far and wide. Most people spoke to us assuming we were visitors too, unfamiliar with the area, which makes me strangely defensive. This place has been my home for 19 years and before that it was my grandma's home and the place where my mother grew up. And while most of those years were spent certain I would leave and never return, I haven't and I'm no longer so sure I will.
I'm listening to less music, enjoying more quiet, giving my thoughts space and silence to roam, though the tree peepers add just the right amount of ambiance.
I'm eating the cleanest foods I can find, giving preference to all the best things. Life, right now, seems about priorities and it makes its way into food. Christie, thanks for all Tessemae's deliciciousness. Zesty Ranch makes everything better. It makes eating healthy so much easier.
I'm doing manual labor, finishing our newly installed pine floors. I'm amazed at how much I like the monotonous, meditative task of oiling our floors. It leaves me sore and tired, peaceful and satisfied.
I'm feeling things with my whole heart. It seems like the hours of daylight directly correspond to how much my heart can experience. My heart is so full.
I'm walking up and down the boardwalk, sometimes letting the big kids stay at the beach unattended, while Arlo and I gaze at the water, wondering, wanting, planning.
"Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
It is a beauty of things unconventional."
Leonard Koren, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers.
Sometimes ideas overtake me. Everything important to me feels like it circles back to this single idea, from the most profound to the most trivial. Our pine floors and my attempts at minimalism. My children growing and my grandmother dying. It's all a part of this imperfect, incomplete, impermanent life. A beautiful life better enjoyed with humbly and simply.
The idea seems to creep into every thought, every desire.
I look out at the brackish landscape, the dirty, sandy shifting shoreline where we spend so much time. It is not the landscape of post cards. It is not the place people dream of, but it holds a quiet, murky beauty. And it feels completely mine. And it, too, is wabi-sabi.
The start of spring. Wabi-sabi.
Our old house filled with old things. Wabi-sabi.
A desire for simplicity and a less. Wabi-sabi.
The need for time alone, for space and solitude. Wabi-sabi.
It is a reminder to slow down and to pay attention.
It is an acceptance of the inevitable.
There is beauty in everything, even sadness and pain. Even death.
This weekend we did the things we always do. We spent our days exploring the changing beach, and we had friends over to eat on the porch and to make use of the fire pit. It was ordinary in the best ways possible, but felt special just the same. My dear friend Chantal, the most sentimental person I know, was visiting from Switzerland, where she leads a fancy, fancy, life working for the Olympics. And the ordinariness of it made her a bit homesick. She cried her tears of happiness and impending sadness immediately upon her arrival, and like a good friend, I took a picture. For living so far away, I'm amazed how often I get to see her. And while I certainly wish I got to see her more, the upshot of her living in Switzerland is chocolate. Amazing chocolate.
I don't know how I have managed to get my friends to come down to Southern Maryland so often to drink beers in my back yard. They drive from DC and Baltimore and across the Bay, and I am so grateful that they do.
I'm so glad to have them come hula hop with my kids and to join in on Sena's mandatory dance parties. Like I said, it's what we always do. It's our ordinary. But I love our ordinary, and I am really glad I have a group of people who live these days with me.
This weekend also involved plenty of sandy raisins and bridge building and the second best round of tag the kids have ever played. And it ended with my family sitting around the dinner table talking about all the important stuff. I went to bed last night feeling a whole lot of things and grateful for all of it.
Maybe next weekend will include something just a little outside of usual. Or maybe it won't. Either way, I'll do my best to make it special. But I might spare you the pictures.