When I was single, I rented my way around Virginia Beach. Each place I lived, the beach was within walking distance. I joyfully choose location over amenities like AC or dishwashers. I bounced between tiny dives and beat up bungalows from the ocean to the bay. I loved knowing I had the option to start my day with the sunrise. I often took the opportunity to schedule an early morning run or meditative walk before assuming my adult responsibilities for the day.
When we first started dating, Jason and I spent a weekend in OBX. He found us a perfect hotel room, complete with an ocean view. Quickly he noticed the chemical reaction my brain had on the rising sun over water. He reacts similarly. We continued that tradition last year as we snuck off for another quick OBX getaway. Our wedding venue was picked with the sunrise and water in mind. Just as our honeymoon.
Knowing we would need to rent for 6-7 months this year, it seemed logical for us to try to find a little beach place. We thought that maybe we could refuge this winter while we take on the blessing of home building. Little did we know, I’d also be healing slight leftover fractures in my heart alongside the process.
From my own research, I know I don’t have to completely heal. The grief or love doesn’t have to end. It just has to coexist. That’s what we’ve chosen to do. We share that love and pour it into new experiences. I believe it’s important to acknowledge and even honor the what could have been. Even marinate in that space for a while. For me, I couldn’t stay in the valley of loss for long. I leaned heavily on the tools I have accumulated over the years to pull myself out. For me: prayer, meditation, the art or cooking, exercise, and writing are healing…just as the morning sunrise.
Jason made it his mission to find a spot like this for us. He did good. I rose early Saturday and shuffled solo the 400 meters down to the beach in my sweatpants. While walking back, I received a text from a friend asking about our first night in the new space. I sent the below picture with a message that read. I felt God.
I returned home, hugged and thanked Jason and said, we are gonna heal here. I spent the rest of the morning writing in various cozy spots, sipping French press coffee, and listening to Frank Sinatra Pandora with Millie at my side.
This may seem idealistic to you to spend a few hours or even the day this way. We’ve built and rearranged our life to allow time for moments like this. It is the moments like these, we remember. It is necessary. It’s a boundary I won’t negotiate. It’s how I refuel my soul. It is how I am able to give each day to my clients, my husband, and my tribe. Because I have given to myself first.
May you build a life with room for mindless moments and your own inner dialogue with God.