This past Friday, my partner and I packed the car and travelled with seven friends and disappeared into the sand and waves of St. Simon’s Island. This was a much needed vacation and I had not been to the ocean in eight or more years. The drive was uneventful and I slept most of the way. When we arrived a little after three, I could smell that warm salty air…it was calling me. We hadn’t even unloaded the cars before we all were shedding our shoes, rolling up our pants and running through the sand.
My partner and I quickly waded through the pool of standing water to get to the little wedge of sand just over the horizon. I watched as my partner took on a child-like wonder as he saw crabs scurrying into holes and minnow-sized fish jumping in and out of the puddles. The beach was fairly empty so we took hands and walked along the shore in the sunlight…amazed at the beauty that lay right there at our feet.
We all reconvened at the house, made dinner and then relaxed with a glass of wine. Most everyone in the house knew when we got there that day that I had a little surprise for my partner. I asked him if he would join me for a walk on the beach just a little before midnight. We walked just below the house to a log that I had seen earlier that day. I was completely nervous and breathing heavy. He asked what was wrong and we sat down on the log to rest. At that point, I pulled a wooden box from my pocket, opened it…exposing a basic silver band, and asked him if he would be willing to share the rest of our lives together. He grabbed me with both arms and whispered yes into my ear.
Afterwards, it was a scene from “Steel Magnolias” with a bunch of gay men running through the house. I had to laugh. We are all pretty much like family to one another anyway, so for the excitement and toasting to be rather boisterous was not surprising.
The next morning, I got up early. The sky was in that place just between dark and light….the soft gray that comes before sunrise. I sat down on that same log my partner and I had shared the night before….it seemed as though it was charged with as much love and peace as anything could be. As I cradled my coffee in my hands, I thought about how different my life was becoming and where I had visualized myself at the age I am. I think I had always thought that I would be quite the different person. I had always fancied myself someone not so settled. I have always lived my life with the philosophy that I didn’t want to be sitting around at 80 years old saying ‘I wish I had,’ but instead saying, ‘Damn, what a ride!’ I had always wanted to be so much more than the person who sits around watching the dark hair turn white.
As I watched the sun begin to push its way through the clouds, I realized that I am exactly where I want to be for the time that is. I have very few regrets…I have always lived my life to the fullest. I have been all those things I mentioned above and then some. I closed my eyes and listened to the voice of the sea. She is constantly moving…constantly changing yet she never changes her position. I could smell the movement in her….that fresh salty scent that overtakes your soul. My heart was quickened by the breeze around me. If I had hair, I would have flipped it through the breeze with joy…instead, I settled for feeling the rush through my chest hairs. I could feel her magick all around me. It is no wonder we hear so many stories of sirens by the sea…..her allure is very powerful.
As I sat there lost in the mists of contemplation, I feel a hand softly placed on my shoulder. I knew who it was the moment it came to rest on me. I looked up to see my partner smiling down at me….he had a look of peace and contentment about him…..it positively radiated from him. My mind could only think that where I am now is exactly where I should be. It made me realize that we humans have forgotten how to be content and how to live in the moment…..we are too worried about the things that could happen that we sometimes forget to look at the things that are happening.
We spent a lot of time enjoying the day that Saturday. We visited the pier (where we were surrounded by blackbirds that I nicknamed ‘sea-crows’) and shopped in town and walked quite a bit. When we got back to the house, my partner and I prepared a low country boil for dinner. We all gorged ourselves until we couldn’t hold anymore.
The group of guys we were with had told me that they wanted to be a part of the ritual that I was planning by the ocean for the Fall Equinox. I had told them earlier in the day to find one seashell that ‘spoke’ to them and to think of something in their lives that they wanted to set in motion. When we all got to the beach, I explained what would take place as far as creating a circle….inviting the elements….acknowledging the Lord and Lady. Everyone was reverent and excited. I handed each one a feather and a small container of food coloring and told them to write inside or on the seashell they collected that ‘thing’ they wanted to set into motion and put it down at their feet. I told them to visualize that ‘thing’ coming to pass. We talked and laughed and acknowledged all the good things in our lives. I thanked the Lord and Lady and the elements and opened the circle……we returned to the house to eat and drink with some couples lingering behind for their own midnight beach stroll.
The next morning, we walked to the beach at sunrise to find our shells gone….swept out into the depths of the ocean by the waves. I encouraged each person to now visualize their dream becoming fluid….moving into reality. As we closed the morning time together, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that a small dog came bounding up to us. The spirit of wolf and crow will find me wherever I go.
I think, though, that we all came to realize one thing. Your dreams will only go as far as you are willing to take them.