I’ve just returned from a women’s retreat where I had the privilege of listening to my Mama speak. Two of my aunts, my sister and my sister-in-law also attended, so we all had our own mini-retreat within the retreat, if you know what I’m saying. Girl-talk around a fire, cheesecake at midnight, massages, chocolate, and soaks in a tub.
All the feels.
Next to listening to my mom share her heart, and next to the nourishment of simply being with the women who help make me who I am, it was the visual and aesthetic experience of the sea (and the harbor-town) that really made this a retreat for me. I am trying to come up with words and the best I have are these:
When I can fix my eye on something stunning, something of color or texture or unique stature, when I can look at it through my camera lens and tune out all the visual (and audible) noise surrounding that one thing – it fixes my heart, too. Things reset inside of me.
Things reset at the dock with the boats bobbing in a spray of color and their tiny doors to their cabins looking like something frozen in time. Things reset when the sea lions call and my sister-in-law doubles in laughter, and I’m crouched beside her with my camera taking in the scene. Things reset when the cold salt water swirls up my calves. Things reset when my sister talks over the head of her tiny son and behind her, the bay bridge fades into the fog. Things reset when my aunts speak of the old and ancient heart hurts, and heart healings, and all that comes between, and things reset when I take my camera to the deck to gather waves and process all they just said. Things reset when I spend an hour on the hallway floor with my mom – and I see her, and she sees me – and then things reset when the headphones go in and I’m listening to Josh Garrels’ Ulysses while staring at the ocean, until 1 AM when the storm blows in with sheets of sideways rain, rain violent between where I sit and the sea.