We’re still allowed to swim. This is my hour.
I tiptoed over the hot black sand and stopped at the high tide mark. I saw no boats dotting the horizon, no snorkels bobbing in the waves near that formation of lava rock. The sand was void of footprints, and new deposits of shell and rock lined the black sand.
Breathing in, the strange tightness in my chest still remained. I arched my shoulders backward to shrug it off but it persisted. I guess it’s not time yet to let go of all the anxiety I feel, as I know it’s fed by the undeniable uncertainty swirling around us.
I have, however, crossed a bridge that I feel is important in the healing process, and that is letting go of pure fear and embracing the helplessness I feel. Our calendar is bare and as the hours tick by it seems even more uncertain when things will return to “normal”. As I sat with this thought, I also wondered what normal would look like after the pandemic has run its course. Right now, I can’t see that far into the future because I don’t know how far to look.
Right now, the sand is hot on my feet, my hair is salty and I have an hour to decompress while Adam watches the kids. I felt alone and uncomfortable on the empty stretch of sand as I returned from the ocean, and that’s not what I expected to feel at all.
I suppose as the days go on I’ll learn to use this time to relax and reflect, but for now, I’ll use my hour to secure focus and pretend nothing is wrong. It’s the kindest thing I can do for myself. The crashing waves and shoreline sing the same harmony as they did before it all began. My feet still feel no pain as I climb barefoot over jagged lava rock. The sun still burns my back and I still hear a steady whoosh of air as the ocean dashes the serrated shoreline. Here, in this moment, I feel everything is the way it had been before.