Reflections from the Beach (written March 12)

We got back to Quito yesterday from a few days of family vacation at the beach. It was some much needed time away from all the responsibilities, stresses, and distractions of daily life. I wrote this in my journal on the morning we left, sitting out on the veranda and watching the vast ocean as the day dawned:

We are at Playa Almendro for a few more hours. 5 days we have enjoyed here — 5 idyllic, carefree days — and I don’t want it to end. But all too soon, we will be loading up for the journey back to Quito.

I kept thinking I would grab some time to write while we were here. I even brought my computer, to do some writing for my blog. But I never turned it on the entire time we were here, and I never sat down to write in my journal until this morning. Maybe I was just having too much fun. Or maybe I needed a break from even the responsibility of writing, much as I enjoy it. Or maybe I was more interested in just relaxing, just being, than I was in reflecting and pondering and gathering the words to write about my feelings.

We swam, played in the sand, soaked in the hot tub, played games, read books, watched movies, laid in the sun. It’s amazing how quickly life at the beach settles into a lazy routine based on the rising and setting of the sun. We were up each day by 7:00 (without an alarm) and falling asleep in our books by 10:30. We ate lots of yummy food, and thanks to my prep work last week on the meals, and Rusty’s help with the dishes, I didn’t have to spend all my time in the kitchen.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat out on the beach for quite awhile, watching the waves roll in and listening to the pound of the surf. And I thought how easy it is to be at peace here — away from all my worries and responsibilities and stresses, and with the wide empty ocean to look at, to listen to, to soothe my soul. It’s always been one of my dreams to live by the sea. But I wonder — if I could see this every day, would it still have the power to melt away my cares, to put life back in perspective for me? Or would it just become part of my “normal,” something I see but don’t really notice?

I do know that the sea calls to me, has always called to my heart in a way that I can’t really explain. Every time I come back to it, I feel a sense of homecoming. And that surprises me, not only because I’ve never lived by the sea, but because that sense of home, of belonging, often eludes me as a TCK and global nomad, someone who is from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the ocean is much the same, no matter where you are in the world. It’s something I’ve been ruminating over since yesterday.

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