After another great day/evening spent with family on the deck, I fell asleep in the bathtub watching videos on my iPad (I happen to have a tray that holds everything perfectly.) When I woke up, well, I was awake. So I went back to the deck to make sure everything was put up and turned off; I took my phone and my iPad with me because I knew I would be sitting down again. I pulled the videos back to the point where I’d stopped- Winter Park, Colorado- December 2014 snowmobiling with Joe, my cousin Carol and her husband, Phil. And then I got a text.
I was noticing how bright the digital lights were against the darkness when Joe’s wind chimes made the slightest noise- one little ping. Just enough to call me back to the present moment. I immediately recognized that I was missing out on the beauty of the night and that I wasn’t appreciating it. I was living in memories of the past and had been for days. Nothing wrong with that, but when you’re only reflecting, you’re missing out on so much more- the NOW. So I shut down both devices and turned off all the lights. I picked my phone back up but only so I could record the sounds I was hearing: the cicadas, the crickets- whatever insects they were- I wanted to be able to use it again when I need to remind myself of what “presence” really sounds like. Then I got a pillow, laid down on the swing, and looked up. WOW! The stars were stunning!
Years ago, when we first built the deck, I worked second shift and would often come home on summer nights and enjoy the starlit sky by myself, while everyone else was sleeping. I always kept an eye on astrology news for events like meteor showers. There’s nothing more magical to experience than a meteor shower. I haven’t done that in a long, long time.
As I laid there on the swing stargazing, I thought about all of the nightly beach walks Joe and I would take when we were camping at the state park, on the cape. We would always take a walk with our flashlights and be amazed at what we saw above us and below- we saw the sand glow (ocean algae, I think), and it was like we were two kids making that discovery. Our powerful flashlights were perfect for finding crabs, or just shining them into the sky and wondering where the beam ended (and a little lightsaber action, obviously!)
We hadn’t taken the time to experience those walks for the last two years. We would venture out at night on occasion, but nothing consistent. The campground’s been closed since Hurricane Michael devastated the coast in 2018, and once we checked into a house or a condo, we just never took those walks for some reason. It’s one of the best reasons to camp. There was never an excuse not to go back to the beach before bed.
Laying there on the swing was peaceful and so beautiful. I stayed there until I started to fall asleep again and took. it. all. in. And I swear to God before I got up to go to bed- another gift, another invitation, or pull, back to the present…a shooting star! That my friend is magic! I’m so glad I was drawn back into the moment-first by the ping of the chime, and then the shooting star. How amazing.