Last weekend I went away for a few days of fun and rejuvenation with some of my oldest friends. We are six middle aged women who have known each other since Girl Scouts, skinned knees, recess, first dates, first dances, first heartbreaks. We got together so that we could reconnect. In part we wanted to reconnect with each other, but I think that mostly we all needed to reconnect with ourselves.
We knew each other way back when. As one of my friends put it, “We knew each other before we became ourselves.”
It was a remarkable weekend. We laughed. A lot. We ate. A lot. We drank. Hoo, baby, and that was fun!
We kicked off our everyday selves and shed the responsibilities and expectations, just for a few short days. Days of letting go and sleeping in and acting silly in a way that middle aged ladies are not often encouraged to do.
And we went to the beach.
Now, it’s important to explain that we live in New England, where October beach days are generally spent in sweatshirts and hoods, with wool socks on our feet. We had hoped to walk on the beach, but when we packed, we were expecting rain and wind and at least a bit of New England cold.
Only this is the era of global warming.
We found ourselves walking, in our jeans and t shirts, along a sunny, hot New England beach. We collected shells and stones, and we took pictures and we looked out at the beautiful blue surf.
And eventually, we started to talk.
“Gee, it’s really hot out.”
“What a great day to swim.”
Nobody was in a bathing suit, except for one brave soul who wore her bathing suit top under her shirt.
We hadn’t come prepared. We didn’t have towels or dry clothes, never mind bathing suits.
But the waves were rolling in. The sun was shining off the water. The sand was warm, the air was balmy.
And so we did what we couldn’t possibly have skipped.
We ran into the waves in our clothes, with our middle aged bodies, laughing the whole way. And we dove and splashed and body surfed and yelped and crowed.
It was heaven.
Even when we had to make the ten minute walk back to our rented house, with our clothes dripping and our hair filled with sand, it was still pure heaven.
Sometimes you realize that life is just too short. It’s just too short and too unpredictable to miss a chance to jump in the ocean while you can.
What a wonderful moment to cherish.