This is probably the last day we will awaken in our beach condo. Last night I was up to my elbows in the likes of parchment paper, ping-pong paddles and polymer clay. I was packing up bits of our lives from the last 21 years at our beloved New Smyrna Beach home. I awoke several times during the night and again at sunrise realizing this would be the last morning arising at our beach place. Boy, I realize this sounds like a first world problem (as opposed to a third world problem as I’ve heard my kids say). But the memories of summer days spent frolicking in foamy, washing machine waves, feeling like kids again, reading novels by the shore (non-fiction not allowed), or walking along the water’s edge at low tide. This was the first place my husband and I considered our own (he having moved into the house I shared for years with my former husband). This has been a place for romance, solitude, a safe harbor for kids in transition, and friends. It has at various times served as a creative arts studio. I had a pottery wheel ensconced in the laundry room for many years; my food processsor and pasta maker took up residence in the hall cloest along with polymer clay and tools for sculpting. My husband kept a spare guitar in case a musical mood struck.
This was a gift we could share with family members and friends- I don’t think I ever gave a present as meaningful to others as a weekend at the beach. Jim and I called our Seascape Towers retreat our “sanctuary” (another name was our “love shack”). One could feel and smell the humid, salty air as you crossed the bridge to the island of New Smyrna, a place where the ocean breeze penetrated the schedules, to-do lists and deadlines living inside our overworked brains.
These induced pauses were a source of inspiration… We came up with many “aha” moments here. Like naming our creative arts program for at-risk kids The Jeremiah Project. I wrote many a blog post with my toes burried beneath soft, crumbly, ivory colored sand, and my husband wrote pages of his book here.
It was kind of the gift that kept on giving. As I close the door for the last time I’m reminded of the Shell Silverstein book, The Giving Tree. The book begins… “Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy…”, and ends with “And the boy loved the tree…very very much… and the tree was happy.” Thank you walls, floors, and ocean view for the people we came to be these last 21 years. We loved you very very much, and we were happy…