As I took my sunset walk last night, the fourth and last of this beach retreat, the evening sky was a glory of gray and black texture against the palest possible hint of blue. There was not one hint of the vivid palette of color that had splashed the sky the previous nights.
A fat half moon glowing directly overhead provided the only celestial light. The sun, who had been my constant companion during my time here, managed to slip secretly behind the western horizon without saying goodbye, hidden behind drapes of tapestried felt.
I didn't mind. Was ready for the change. The day had sent warnings. The afternoon sky was embellished with soft brush strokes of lavender gray over a translucent haze of lamb white.
I've found myself drawn to the dune grass during my wanderings. As far as the eye can see, lithe tawny arms dancing away from the wind. As strikingly and hauntingly beautiful as death can be. The green of new life is already beginning to push up from the roots, but only revealed to eyes cast earthward.
The night before, I'd watched a man set up his camera toward the sunset so the picture would be framed by dune grass.
I wonder if we humans need the anchor of earthly elements to feel at home, and safe. The endless sky here, especially with the unseasonable sunshine, has the power to lift a heart heavenward, but for now at least the soul is not allowed to follow. There is work yet to be done. And so we ground ourselves by gazing longingly into eternity through spires of grass that remind us of our mortality.
The sound of raindrops playing on metal gutters woke me up this morning. While it's still too dark to see, I know the morning sky is low and protective like the underside of a giant wing. It's time to go home.
Like the beach sky, I feel transformed, although I can't quite say how yet. The new telling of my story is 20,000 words longer than it was when I arrived. I've spent three full days in my own company, listening only to my inner voice and the voice of the wind. The anxiety that is my constant companion is still, perhaps consoled by freshly revealed truths.
On my second day here, the wind told me this, "You can never start over, you can only go forward." And so forward I go, toward home and a new adventure just beginning to green at the roots.