Every week Micah and I set aside a different day for each of us to go and recharge. It's not an entire day to ourselves, and it actually ends up being only 2-3 hours after Micah gets home from work and before dinner, but, it's the best darn 2-3 hours ever! I look forward to it every week!
I made a few rules about how to spend my alone time. There is no shopping, no sleeping, no reading, no chores, and no computer time allowed during my special break. This is strictly a time for me to get outside and connect with nature. I know myself well enough to know that when I don't get outside in God's beauty, or exercise, or feel the wind in my hair, I am not who I want to be. I feel disconnected to myself, and my soul starts to wither and die. True story.
So, yesterday was my day to go do something fun and this is what I did:
I drove down to a new stretch of coast that I wanted to explore. It was hot and muggy out, and I couldn't wait to jump into the ocean in this new area. I parked on the side of the road and walked down the trail to where the trees meet the beach. In my rush to get out of the house I had completely forgotten my swimsuit, but decided to just keep going.
At the end of the trail I came out onto a little white-pepper sand beach, surrounded by lava rocks and crashing waves. I followed the coastline for about 100 yards to the right where there were large pools and streams of brackish, spring water, spilling out into the ocean. There were sea turtles resting in the pools, and small fish scurrying in and out with the currents.
I skipped out onto the black lava rocks, picking up little sea shells and corals as I went. I was flooded with memories of my childhood, and how tough my feet would get every summer running over all those rocks, and all the nooks and crannies I would explore out on the tide pools near my house. They were such happy memories!
Next I waded knee deep through the tide pools, until I got to a larger opening, in the deeper ocean. It was really hot, and I was starting to sweat. I put my towel down on some rocks, stuck my goggles onto my face, and jumped in, jeans and t-shirt and all. The sea water engulfed me and cooled me down immediately. I floated on my tummy with my head underwater, staring down at the sand, and fish, and rocks. I came up every once in a while for air, but mostly stayed just like this for quite a while.
I could feel myself smiling, happiness overcoming my very being, and my soul recharging with good energy. I could feel all the little stresses and worries of the day evaporate into nothingness, floating away into the sunshine. I could feel my scattered mind being replaced with peace and calm, as the waves gently carried me up and down, up and down.
The ocean is a very special place for me, and one of the reasons we came back to Hawaii. Some of us need the mountains, some of us need the desert, and some of us need the city to feel alive.
I need the ocean.
As I walked back to the car on my nature high, I met an elder Hawaiian man husking coconuts on the shore. He asked me if I wanted one to take home to my family, and of course, I said yes.
We started chatting, and he told me he comes down to the beach everyday to relax, husk coconuts, and feed them to the fish. "It's like candy for them", he said excitedly "They eat this stuff up like crazy!"
I smiled all the way to my house, soaked in wet jeans, carrying home coconuts for my kids. I decided that the ocean is my candy, and just like the fish, I eat it up like crazy.