Only Happy / Heading Home
This morning I was walking on the beach with my dad when I normally would have been blogging. It was our last morning in New York before heading home to California and I thought about blogging, and not wanting to disappoint my twelve or so loyal readers (you know who you are), plus the benefits for me of sticking to routine above all else. But I had this other thought which was that it was more important to squeeze in a last beach walk with my dad – a last beach walk of this year’s trip, I mean, not the last beach walk ever. So I did that. Knock on wood there are many beach walks in our future, just as there have been many in our past. But this morning’s beach walk was particularly sweet. The wind was blowing, strong, and as we tromped through the soft and approached the hard sand near the water we engaged in some debate about which direction the strong wind was coming from to decide whether to walk left or right. We ultimately agreed on the best course and set off.
It’s important to begin walking into the wind so that when you’re worn out on the way back the wind helps carry you back. If you start out with the wind at your back, plus full of energy, as I’ve done, all of a sudden you can wind up way way down at the end, or near it, and coming back is a forever rough journey. That’s ok if time’s not an issue, but it’s not ok when the car service is coming soon and the bags need to be packed and Ax needs to get dressed and all that stuff and the walk is just a sneaky squeezer that most people would not try to squeeze in the amount of time available.
My father and I are not most people. So we squeezed it. We turned left, straight into the strong blowing wind, and we threw up our arms and started spontaneously screaming, kind of yelling, kind of singing, maybe chanting, on the cloudy, early morning, empty – oh did I mention it was kind of drizzling a bit, really more just misting – tromping and clapping and bellowing free form melodic nothings on the windy, glorious beach together. And we did that for a while.
And then dad’s phone timer went off and we turned around and tromped back propelled by the wind and we got back into the warm house and I packed up our stuff, got us dressed, and we got into the car and flew home to California.
Last night I told Ax, “I’m a little sad to be leaving my family, but I’m also happy to be going home.” Ax said, “I don’t want you to be sad, only happy.” I didn’t get into it with him about how humans are multifaceted, emotionally variable creatures, especially certain humans like his mother, and that being only happy all the time isn’t a realistic goal. I didn’t lecture on the perils of codependence or the wave-theory/this-too-shall-pass method of dealing with unpleasant emotions or situations. I just said, “That makes sense.” It really does.