I haven't been there for 3 years - as of next week. Not because of the place itself, but because I have been afraid of the memories this place would bring back. I wasn't sure I was ready for it.
Memories of times spend with someone who is not a part of my life any longer, memories of many empty promises made by someone who I believed would be part of my life for the long haul, anyhow, all that it is now gone, and amazingly enough, it seems unimportant on the big scheme of things that came to pass. Unfortunately, for a very long while, I associate the place to a person.
Well, much water has passed under that bridge, and even tough I have not yet published everything I have written during this time, I decided to publish this. I though it was appropriate since I just published a post written a little over two years ago - Thoughts for a New Day - when I was still free-falling to the cold dark bottom, broken so badly that, I thought then, I was beyond repair. This has been a 3 long yet amazing years on the process of rebuilding myself.
When I left my home this morning, I had no plans whatsoever to go there, I got into the car with the sole intent of going for a hike and take some pictures. There was no set destination as I drove out of my driveway, just a desire to enjoy a beautiful Fall day. After going to a couple of places, taking some photos, it took me by surprise as I realized that I was there, right at the place I loved going to.
Oh my, it felt like so many years ago. The parking lot right in front of me, inviting me in and so I decided to enter. As I parked the car I realized that the time had finally came for me to overcome that "forbidden place" mentality and go for a walk.
It just took a meager couple of minutes to realize that I, and no one else, have created this taboo about the park. The joy I used to feel was still there. As I took the first steps and saw the monarch butterflies playing under the sun, I could smell the brine of the ocean which brought back to memory the reason why this place was chosen as my refuge. It reminded me that it was my favorite place, before and in spite of any of those memories were built, and it was time to remove the tainted association from it and start enjoying it again.
I walked the couple of miles, all the way to the inlet where I used to take a break, sit and picnic. It took me completely by surprise to see the transformation that had occurred.
The path that used to be a narrow one, with a rocky beach in one side and 8+ feet high dunes on the other side, was much different now. The dunes were gone ~ maybe swept away by Hurricane Irene last year ~ and like on a strange co-relation, I saw my favorite place, much like the 'me' walking there today completely transformed.
The landscape had become this flat open scenery where, I now could see far into the horizon. The little and peaceful river branch that used to be hidden by the tall dunes, was wide exposed, easy to see from the ocean side. The narrow path was now wide and open, covered with soft white sand.
As I walk down this so familiar path, this new environment made me think about the person I've become. This place and I were completely and profoundly changed. Our old appearance have drastically changed.. Yes the important things are still there, the sand-my beliefs, the river-my dreams, the ocean-my soul, yet we were forever transformed.
The open and clear horizon, even though it seem serene and peaceful now, still holds fresh signs of the path taken by the storm. I can clearly see what areas have been affected by it, what has happened and how it molded and reshaped the old land into this new scenery. The changes occurred have left its scars, and only if one knew the place before one would be able to see the change that has happened.
My little inlet, as well my own landscape, have been completely redesigned, from what looked set and secure, to a brand new, creatively beautiful and simple wide open world.
Even tough it took a strong storm, which have destroyed many things on its way, it had also created all the beauty of today, all the new life I see at this time. For sure it is different from the beauty of before, but somehow it is even more harmonious and peaceful.
The tall dunes always made me aware that an animal could come from behind it; I had always made me, walking along the path, to be aware of the possibility of an expected surprise lurking behind those tall dunes, they made impossible for me to see what the paths that were behind them.
Now, as I walked down the old and familiar path, I can just enjoy the view, the whole path of this little journey is now, open wide, right in front of me, there was no more risk of the unknown, I could see far and wide into the distant horizon.
However, like anything in nature, all the surroundings have adapted to the new design. The birds found a new nesting area, the marsh is growing fresh and filled with life on the other side of the river, the ocean water found new grounds to flood when the hi-tide comes in, also creating a brand new habitat filled with life that was not there before, and on things go as they might.
As I reached the inlet, I sat there, soaking in all the changes and beauty. the co-relation between my little paradise and my own little life was astonishing. It made me finally realize that the eye of the storm has passed and we have both survived.
My redesign took 3 years, almost to the date, to become what it is today, but like it did with my little sanctuary, it has created new curves and lines on the shore. It is again renewed, reborn, filled with life, hopes and possibilities.
I have a need for passion and at the same time I am on a quest for balance, this new scenery showed me that I can have both as long I can understand and respect its limitations, weakness and strengths. Sometimes the passion (ocean) has to come and take control the balance (river) and then some other times the river (balance) has to push the ocean (passion) away to allow life to emerge.
There is a subtle balance between the rush and openness of the ocean and the serene peace and quiet of the little inlet. I realize that changes don't have always to be a bad things and I can have both passion and balance in my life.
I figure that our new design works perfectly with the life we now live. It is filled with a unique beauty. It has interest, designs, lots of character and charm and an immense array of possibilities.
It becomes clear that everything is now okay and the only memories I have left of this place, are the memories of peace, rebirth, joy and happiness.
Looking at this exceptional change I am certain that I, like this little paradise, have changed and became a new and enhanced version of my old self. The horizon is open and clear as far as my eyes can see. The path, I now take, is open, wide and sunshine bright and clear right in front of me.
Well, the point of this post is to show that, no matter where you are, no matter how far you believe tomorrow is, how much it feels that this pain will never leave, how hard is to believe that you will stand up again, just be patient, take time to meditate, take more time to breathe, be lovingly and forgiven with yourself, let time do what it does best, allow that a new landscape brings all back to life, learn the lesson in your way and be ready for that day when you just open your eyes and discover that it is all okay and life is just a wonderful thing and it is worth to be lived at its fullest.
"When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability…To be alive is to be vulnerable." ~ Madeleine L’Engle