A Change of Scenery

We went to the beach for the weekend. It was a much needed change of scenery from our tiny house in the woods. Our heads were cleared by doing nothing for a couple days and it was refreshing. The times we live in seep into our brains and our moods become a reaction to the noise all around us. At the beach the noise was the ocean, a constant roar of wind and waves. It’s the biggest loudest sustained noise that my ears can tolerate. I wouldn’t want to be standing next to a jet engine roaring at that volume. But standing beside the Pacific Ocean fills me with a sense of wonder and I’m drawn to it. Awe. The awe was cleansing.

Billie Best writes about a change of scenery.

It’s hard to hold onto awe when the soup is boiling over on the stove and dishes need to be done and someone needs to take the recycling to the bottle-drop. Householding is a circular to-do list we commit ourselves to when we cohabitate, and little bits of it travel with us when we relocate for the weekend. The clothes we change a few times a day, the dog we feed, the meals we consume, the coffee mugs and toothbrushes. Did you remember the poo bags? There is no escape from this minutia. But at the beach it doesn’t feel as tiresome. We let go temporarily, break our own rules, make a mess, and track sand across the floor. No worries. It’s the beach.

The thing I noticed was how friendly and polite people were. I didn’t feel the edge that cuts so painfully through world events. At the beach we were all relaxed. Dogs were off the leash and so were we. Kindness felt natural. That was part of the mental reset of the weekend. We were not isolated as we are in our home. We were out there in the mix, and it was restorative. Like group therapy. All around us people were chill, pleasant and generous. It was a reminder that the invasive content we consume is made to manipulate us. Free to just be ourselves, human-to-human in a neutral zone, common ground was easy to find. It was the beach.  

Now I’m back at my desk. My cohabitant is off to work. The week rises like a hill on the horizon. Tasks loom. Content wails from every device. And I’m intentionally noticing how much yellower the poplar trees are this morning, how orange the oak. A deer nibbles on acorns at the bottom of the hill. It’s not a metaphor. This is real. The reflection of the sky in the water is real. Leaves floating down from the top of the cottonwoods are real. Human kindness is real. So are the dirty dishes in the sink, but so are the paperwhites coming up in my garden. Reality is a diverse experience. There’s always more than one way to see it. I’m holding onto the expansive peace I found at the beach and paying it forward. There are blessings all around us waiting to be received.  

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8 thoughts on “A Change of Scenery

  1. Spouse and I just returned from a 6 day respite at a “nudist resort “ in Cancun.
    Laughed well, drank well, ate well, played well and slept well. 40 couples (all strangers) and naked sitting in a very large hot tub, or playing pool volleyball with no gossipy neighbors, no children, no talk of world affairs, religion, politics. Just people “letting it all hang out” for a few days. Couples ranging from 40’s to 80’s +. Who cared?? And the beach and ocean just beckoning.
    Shared all the same feelings you just posted, only naked!

  2. What a wonderful and refreshing get-away. Gives a new perspective (short-lived as it maybe) in the mundane business of life.

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