I guess a part of Dan’s new gig around these parts is that he’s gone a lot more often than he was before. At this point in time I’ve already been a single mom for two weeks this year and LET ME JUST SAY THAT being a single mom is hard. Shout out to those who did/do it everyday. Lemme buy you a beer or five.
Since Dan is gone during the days while I’m home with Dax anyway, it really doesn’t kick in how much I miss him (or how lost and confused I feel without him here) until the evening. As soon as 5PM rolls around, Dax and I are staring at each other, wondering what to do with ourselves. Do we eat more food? Do we roll the ball back and forth again? Do we surrender to mind-numbing media and turn the television on? Do we cry?
Typically those options never really appeal to me, so I usually scoop up that little bundle of chunk and drive over to the beach to watch the sun set. I’ve already blogged about it here but it bears repeating — the sunsets in southwest Florida are stupid beautiful. Better than anywhere else on earth, I promise.
Dax could really take it or leave it but for me, watching the sun sink in a morphing, watercolor sky for those fleeting moments is a godsend.
As I watch the sky change from blue to grey to purple to orange to red and, at last, grand-finale-pink, I forget that I’m still a foreigner. I forget that I’m in exile. I forget that I’m in Nineveh.
Unfortunately this mind-numbing process only takes about fifteen minutes, so once the sun is down it all comes rushing back with the waves. It seems as if the second I get to the beach I’m already thinking, How dare you, sun! Why couldn’t you have taken your time? You just blew through that like it’s something you do everyday! Do you REALLY have somewhere to be right now? Ugh. What next?
Annnnnd cue the lonelies.
The last time I did this (where I took those pictures) my heart was in a different place. In recent weeks, I’ve been really focusing on all the things for which I am grateful in my life — Nineveh included — and so, finally, watching the sun go down wasn’t just another goodbye I had to endure but instead the beginning of a period of rest and reflection.
Sure Dan was gone. And I love having him around so that sucked a little bit. But while I was aware of his absence I was also aware of the feeling of the sand between my toes, the breeze on my face, the LACK OF HUMIDITY AT THAT TIME OF THE DAY, the warmth of my son snuggled up against my chest, the sounds of children splashing in the surf, the sight of the pelicans swooping down in methodical dive patterns…
In a world powered by the Internet and social media, and the idea of who can get things done harder better faster stronger, it can be hard to sit and really appreciate the things that are going on around you at that current time and space. It can be difficult to not want to immediately move on to something new, something fresh, something different.
To chase the next sunset.
But even when the sun sets, there is still a real beauty left. There is real creation and, thankfully, real transformation.
If you find yourself looking around at what you’re currently dealing with and screaming out, Enough already! What’s next? I challenge you to stop. Breathe.
Slow down. Take it all in. Notice the things you feel like you’re too busy to notice.
This is the only life we have.
And oh, how beautiful.