It’s difficult to find the right words. In fact, I’m not even sure they exist. Yet here I am, feeling so much, compelled to share something. Anything. I can try.
This place is so special to me. I feel, just recently, like I am a puzzle, and the peace offered here is the missing piece. I felt whole here this week. Complete. Like I had been returned to myself. Happiness.
This place is where my mother’s bones and flesh, once alive but now only dust, have settled among the sand and the sea, the shells and pebbles, the sandpipers and seagulls, the crabs and seaweed. We scattered her ashes here, on this beach, on the morning of what would have been her 50th birthday: October 11th, 2008. It wasn’t a request she had made, that she be placed to rest here at the furthest southern point of the island she called home every summer. In life, we never spoke of such things. There is so much I don’t remember in the aftermath of her death, and how we came to this decision is one of those things that was agreed upon at the time but with no real clarity or understanding as to why.
My sisters and father and I have visited this landscape every year since, but this time I went alone, and it felt different. Even on the few days of damp fog and dreary skies, I felt a calm within, resisting to mirror the elements of nature surrounding me. It felt to me so bright and beautiful - a complete gift, perfect in every way, overflowing with wildlife - the songs of birds, and roaming beach bunnies, actual rabbits that seemed to appear like magic before my eyes and then disappear just as quickly. I was in awe of the sound and force of the surf breaking on the cold, wet sand, and the blackness of the rocks acting as a barrier and home to so many creatures. I was gifted treasures too - two large empty conchs, layered and shaded in hues of gold, grey, white and blue. The sea within a shell.
In years past we would visit Stone Harbor Point at the beginning or end of our time at the shore, eager to be there, but then also eager to leave some of the pain and hurt behind as well. This week, I went back every day, and I truly felt as if there was a strong pull keeping me there - it would have been harmonious to stay all day, every day. Leaving each time was like saying goodbye to the person you love most in this world. Being present there, fully aware and engrossed in the vastness of the land, brought me such comfort that I felt at a loss when it was time for me to go.
I can’t be sure of the reason for this shift, for this immense sense of peace and understanding in this place, but perhaps it is paralleled with healing. Maybe, finally, my heart is healing. Maybe I am opening myself up to the possibilities for the future and loosening my tight grip on the past. With love and gratitude.
I still miss her every day.