Slowing Down


I look out over a muddy lawn. Raindrops cover the trees and puddles fill the street. A part of me feels like I am back in Seattle, where the constant grey skies refuse to let you know what time of day it is. All I need is a glimpse of the sun, something to show me that this fog will clear from my head, and that all will go back to normal. It has been nearly a month since I was in Mexico for Thanksgiving, which seems practically impossible! Just yesterday I was waking up to the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez, and watching the sunset from the small town of Todos Santos. Since I grew up in the Northwest, I should be well accustomed to this constant grey, but for some reason I can't shake it off. I want the sun to wake me up and show me that each day is full of so much light.

I stretched my arms up towards the blue bird sky.

Our Mexico trip had begun and I couldn't wait to make the most of all the sunshine! I looked towards the beach, tasting the salt on my lips. Before I left for the airport, I told myself that I had it all figured out. With a PICC line in my arm, there was no way I could swim, unless I wanted salt water running through my veins. So I gave myself the role of group photographer: a perfect solution. With our swimsuits on, we were a lathering of sunscreen away from grabbing a few toys and running down to the beach. Kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling gear were strewn across the porch. So much fun was about to be had, and I couldn't wait to start documenting this trip! I dug my feet into the warm sand and started fiddling with the camera gear. After a few minutes I looked up to see footprints running down the beach towards the water. I could hear happy voices and lots of splashing; turns out, I didn't have the slightest idea how to feel. All that "figuring out" I thought I did back home completely disappeared; I had to start from scratch.

When I was younger, time could not go by fast enough. All the adventures to be had were in my future; I didn't have time for anything in the present. Now it feels like all my adventures are happening now. I just turned 23 and time won't stop, not even for a second. The idea is overwhelming to me; all these moments are passing by me without any warning at all. I look down at this thing in my arm, a tube winding all the way to my heart; and there it will stay until my hands stop shaking and my head clears. This PICC line is a part of me; my body has accepted it with peace, so why can't I? After all, the purpose of it is to make me feel like me again, to clear that fog and finally let the sun shine through. 

I could see the sun setting below the hill as I was running down the rocky path towards the beach. We reached the soft sand just in time to plop down and soak up the last little bit of warmth. Our trip was coming to an end, just as fast as it had begun. The clouds were especially beautiful that evening, making the sunset even more impressive. I pulled out the camera right as the whales were emerging for their last breath of the day; it felt warm and familiar in my hands as I clicked away at the sinking sun. At that moment I felt content, like time wasn't passing me by; I wanted to be right there, on the beach surrounded by my favorite people. It took me awhile to feel this way, many days of putting myself in situations where I had to be patient, knowing that there would be a time and a place for me to splash in the water and dive under the waves.

An adventure can be a rainy day, where you take on what you have been given in that moment and embrace it. I was forced to put myself on the sidelines while in Mexico, to let the world around me have its adventure, while I had mine. What came out of that was a much deeper appreciation for time. The time I have been given to pause, take a second, and look again at what I need to be doing. Right now my adventure is to look at this grey sky and make it into something bright and inviting; so instead of waiting for the sun to wake me up, I need to wake myself up and know that I am not trapped behind these clouds. I am simply here for the time being to observe and wait for that clearing where the sun will shine through and I will feel like myself again.