I couldn’t wait to put my Pacific chilled feet into the warmer Atlantic. Sandy toes! Body surfing! Running along the sand in my flowing beach dress! Early morning runs on a beach untouched by footprints! Blessed summer vacation for a whole week! Yay!
The very first day, I stripped off my beach cover up and strolled down to the water. It was a bit chilly, but so clear! A light breeze nudged the Atlantic as I ventured deeper. The sandy bottom was rippled and soft. Finally in up to my thighs I pushed off to rise over a wave.
I came down and there was a laser like zing that went from my heel up to my knee that elicited a gasp. The next wave went right through me as I stood trying to figure out what had just happened to my leg. Jelly fish tendrils? A Nemo love bite? JAWS?!
I limped back to our beach camp. It felt like a pulled muscle or a really bad Charlie Horse. No big deal, I assured everyone. I massaged it, put ice on it, it would be better the next day.
Not so much.
The sharp pain had lessened by morning, but by late afternoon the sides of my ankle were swollen with a dark, purple bruise. It’s awesome to be on a beach vacation with purple elephantitis of the ankle! The diagnosis of pulled calf muscle with some trauma/separation from the achilles tendon was decreed. Apparently when trauma happens in the calf muscle, the blood pools in the ankle. I iced and elevated and compressed it (still am) and succumbed to my sedentary state.
Obviously, the universe or whomever was wanting me to really STOP on this vacation. Stop and contemplate and stare at the ocean rather than running along beside it.
So I did. And I also sampled FIVE different kinds of cheese steak (McCools in Avalon won the taste test), savored some gelato, experienced an Italian hoagie, cream donuts, and cinnamon rolls, assorted cocktails. Then there was pizza. And more pizza.
Prior to this trip I was aware that I needed to slow down. I need to be still more often and look around me, focus on one thing for more than a moment. I’ve been distracting myself, lately, with movies and books and work. Distracting myself from what? From the thoughts (good and bad) that inevitably arise when your body and mind are quiet, the clear thoughts and solutions that come through when we are still and focused and in this case, staring at the ocean.
I had a lot of profound thoughts on this trip, some having to do with my life, many having to do with pizza (where the next slice would be coming from) and most having to do with LOVE.
LOVE of BABIES (One miracle baby in particular)
LOVE of OCEAN
LOVE of FRIENDS
LOVE of FAMILY
LOVE of a CERTAIN MAN
It’s good to get away. But it’s even better to return with clarity, purple ankle and all.