I am drawn to the ocean. Whenever I am in a city near the water, it calls me hither. It’s a call I cannot ignore. I have no will power to stay away. Whether it’s a rocky bluff or pristine sands, I have to go. I have to stand and watch the waves crash. I have to feel my toesin the sand. I have to touch the water, feel it on my skin.
This past week work sent me to Jacksonville, Florida for two nights. It was a brief trip filled with meetings and client visits. Nights were to be spent working and writing (near the end of draft one of my novel). Instead, I heard the calling from the beach. I was staying 8 miles away off 202 at the Sheraton. It was my second night. I sat in the hotel room shivering from the relentless blasts of cold air from the AC and trying to concentrate on my laptop. It was past 6:00pm, and I was getting hungry. Work was in vain. The creative juices could not be summoned. Between the hunger and the icicles, I was going stir crazy. I had to get out. My mind shifted to the beach. Surely, there must be a beachside dive where I could dine on fresh fish and a cold beer. My mind wandered even further. It was early enough that I could even afford a walk on the beach before it got dark. I devoured a granola bar to hold off the hunger pangs and headed to the beach.
It had rained earlier that evening and some clouds loomed over the dusk of nightfall. I was certain that the beach would be deserted. I was wrong. I am not the only soul that is magnetically drawn to the beach. The shore was filled with other beach bums performing their beachside rituals. I watched women doing yoga, families shelling, children swimming, teenagers surfing, men fishing, and all ages biking and walking.
I prefer to walk. I kicked off my sandals and set my direction toward the pier. I spent about an hour walking. Most of that time was spent in deep conversation with God. It was a talk that was a long time coming and one that could only take place where my soul feels totally free – at the beach. I paused on occasion to watch the tide move out, the clouds float by, and people and birds playing. I watched the sky change colors as the day fell to night amongst the lingering clouds.
I emerged from the beach refreshed and filled with creative energies. I found a seafood joint and journaled out a blog entry for another project I am working on (more to come on that). I know my tight itinerary and growing To Do list really couldn’t afford a night off, but the night turned out to be a pause well spent. This week I will be shore bound again. I am sure I will hear the same calling. Will I resist?