Monday, April 4, 2011

The Sarah Chronicles - Waking up in Dillon Beach

Sarah followed behind her husband for one-hundred-twenty miles as their family made their way to Dillon Beach on the northern coast of the California shoreline south of Bodega Bay. It was the middle of July when they decided to escape the afternoon valley summer heat and find themselves arriving to a thick marine layer. It was cold, windy and wet. Sarah’s husband, Collin, was relieved to see that she’d packed a thermos of hot coffee and was now filling two cups to the rim with the luscious, warm caffeinated beverage.

While the kids wasted no time racing toward the sounds of the ocean waves. Sarah was immediately struck by a lone bench resting in the sand. It seemed to reflect how she often felt--small and powerless against the tides of life. She wondered if it was standing its ground. Did it have something to prove? Was it trying to remain invisible, as she often did? Or was it trapped in the grains of sand that tried holding it back?

She could hear the ocean waves crashing upon the shore. She knew the Pacific was there because she could feel its vast power, strength and life giving force. The sea breeze blew through her long, wavy, blonde hair pushing her back, challenging her to charge forth. Sarah caught her mind wandering off to explore the horizon that lay invisible to her beyond the mist and the fog; just as happiness always seemed to have done.

Sarah had a lonely and miserable childhood. Never bonding with her mother and being sexually abused by her step father paved an uncertain path. Her spirit fractured and her heart broken; salved only by the love and acceptance of her Grandma Jayne and Aunt Meg that blossomed along the roadside.

Sarah and her grandmother were very close. Sarah would call her with questions about her homework and they would bake Peanut Butter Cookies together. Aunt Meg would play Crazy Eights with her for hours on end; giggling and laughing while listening to Donnie Osmond records…”and they call it puppy love.” During sleepovers at Grandma’s, Sarah and Meg would play house, stacking bowlfuls of snacks on desk shelves. It would be Aunt Meg and Grandma Jayne that Sarah would go to after her molestation and it would be Grandma Jayne who would break the news to her mother. They were always, always there for her. Until…

At the age of ten, when illness would take Sarah’s grandmother away and Meg, only fifteen-years-old, would be required to move hundreds of miles away to live with an older sibling. Abandoned and alone Sarah would have to muddle through with no one to turn to and feeling powerless to defend herself, speak for herself, think for herself or stand up for herself.

As the sun began to carve its way through the thick morning fog, Sarah realized that the waves of the Pacific were not crashing upon the shore, but instead lapping at her feet, begging her to embrace it and allow its vast power and strength to lift her show her a life with purpose as it had the lone bench that remained nestled in the sand. It was not standing its ground; it had nothing to prove, but instead stood committed to its purpose because it knew that the vastness of the Pacific only existed because it did.

Suddenly, Sarah didn’t feel alone in the world. She could feel her grandmother’s presence. The strong sea breeze was embracing her, guiding her, supporting her and reminding her of the hugs she shared with Grandma Jayne and Aunt Meg. She no longer questioned why she had been abused, or why her grandmother had to die. It no longer mattered that she hadn’t bonded with her mother because she was connected to something much greater. She stood on the beach, facing the horizon beyond the vast Pacific Ocean; she looked out as far as her eyes could see and realized that she was surrounded by and connected to infinite beauty, strength, power and love and it existed only because she did.

Sarah returned home that day knowing that no matter how small and insignificant she believed herself to be in this vast Universe--The Universe would not exist without her.

Pulling Threads :: The Boarder

Sometime between elementary and my middle-school-age years we had a boarder. The Colton's lived down the street. Mrs. Colton would s...