My houseguests left early yesterday morning. A weekend with my best friend and her husband, keeping me company during a weekend away visiting his mother for my husband. More than simply keeping me company. Feeding my soul with the truest of simple pleasures, a full plate of unbridled sincerity that can only come from the dearest of lifelong friends. We spent most of our time together talking as women friends do. We know each other so very well and that makes for an easy flow of words between us. No need to explain the family who's who's. No need to detail the past, the school years, the marriages. It's all there all the time, at the ready, very much like a library. The volumes read "The Teen Years", "High School", "College Notes", "Love and Marriage" and so on and so on. Well read and easily accessed.
An early departure, their need to return to their home in New York underscored by a party invitation. Sad good byes and I'm left alone. Tidy up, load of laundry. Tidy up some more. I could have spent the day in my house. I have a beautiful view from the two most occupied rooms and the sun was shining making it another unseasonally warm and carefree winter day. Instead, I brought myself to a favorite stretch of beach, dressed for a no-excuse walk that I much needed. The low tide left large amounts of sea weed, different from that which we fought all summer. This was a feathery, orange and brown seaweed, distributed along the hard packed sandy shoreline and beautifully fragrant. Salty air with just the right amount of bouquet to awaken my senses and ready me for the walk ahead. My beach walks always lend themselves to great thoughts. I rarely look out at the water but this time, I took note of the calmness as each little lap hit the shore. Ducks and seagulls floated on the glass-like water. I wondered what the gulls were trying to verbally communicate to each other, what do the different calls mean. I listened to the gentle sounds made as they approached the shore and landed softly upon the water, making groups. Were they a family? A group of friends enjoying a day out? Was there food nearby?
Most of this walk, like hundreds before it, found me with my head down, studying the sand, looking for treasures and inspiration for one art project or another. I have a mental file folder. It has a tab which reads "you'd think after all these years, she'd find something to do with these shells....". I add files as my thoughts range and my little stories grow. All of those, I'll keep for another time, another story or a little piece of "art". In my head, I store titles for these future endeavors. Today, the scallop shell, my favorite of all the locals, reminds me of simplicity and fills my heart with the joy of the friendship that I have shared with Cam for so many years. It is uncomplicated, open and honest, a flat baseline from which it fans upward and outward. Lines of life reaching from the heart, located in the middle of the base. Simple and beautiful along the shoreline of my life.