This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!
The days continue to stretch out summer’s invigorating warmth yet they are dimly lit and speckled with fall’s saturated hues.
My heavy tank-like car lurches ahead, speeding across the smooth pavement. Colors of green mixed with autumn’s warm shades of warm yellow, orange, and red of autumn whip past the windows. The colors are mesmerizing, creating rich memories of fall’s glory… but when I come to a halt my feet patter up wooden steps and eventually land in soft, white, powdery sand. My toes sink in, my shoulders drop, and my entire body relaxes. I look out onto the horizon of tumbling waves. They are calm, gentle, and scarce of human interaction. The cool, gentle breeze caresses my cheeks and I let out a deep breath.
I stretch out a towel and position my body perpendicular to the ground, and reach for the thick floral journal from the depths of my backpack. At first I don’t write, I only think. Then the words come pouring onto the paper like wildfire. The overwhelming feeling to write always comes to me in times of change. I feel it welling within, and there never seem to be a lack of words for my emotions.
I only stop to fuel my inspiration by taking long stares at the gorgeous ocean view and my serene surroundings. When I do this, I notice something. Behind me, tall grasses spiking up from the dunes are slowly turning to brown and wilting away. The leaves of the vines tangled between the worn wooden fences match the colors of the trees I saw lining the highway. I even notice that the perpetual pounding of waves is much quieter than in summer’s prime. This place, this vast stretch of beach is meeting change just as I am. This is where summer meets fall, where a metamorphosis is on the verge.
Eventually the flow of words seems to stop and the wind begins to permeate my thin sweater. I take one last look at the ocean to bid farewell and find myself plopping back down on the packed sand to fully appreciate my last gaze. My love affair with the beach has lasted since my childhood. My parents used to have to tug me by the wrist to pull me away from dancing along the sea’s shoreline. Yet this year the ocean and I have not shared the same bond. This is the first and probably last visit I make to my sacred place. Time slipped away and summer passed me by. I am remorseful to have not found the time to visit the one place that makes me so utterly content.
But I stop to appreciate. It is late September and I realize I’ve visited my old friend in a new way; her waters much cooler than I remember, her sands more barren than usual, but the sound of her crashing waves so comfortingly familiar. Their rhythmic melody still soothes my ears and calms my mind. Maybe I needed this subtle reminder that seasons, people, and all of life’s happenings may change but if we embrace this change, we can still find peace.
I stand once again and inhale the salty sea air. This time I acknowledge that there is something beautiful in the fact that in a few weeks’ time the shores will be even further abandoned. The beach is ready to welcome this change, and I take her advice. I take long strides across the uneven sands, climb back into the cushioned seats of my car, and drive off into not only a new season, but a new chapter of life.
Just as the waves welcome the nuance of being uninhabited by swarms of people and the trees let their crisp leaves flutter from their branches, I give way to welcoming alone time and letting go.
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