There are fewer things more beautiful to me than the beach in winter. Maybe its my New England heritage, but there is something romantic about cold overcast days and steel-grey water. Shells, driftwood, even the mangled fish carcasses, harassed by seagulls, have a place here before the glittering ripples of the Long Island Sound.
Connecticut shores may not have the soft delicate sand of the Caribbean, but the coarse grit and craggy boulders make a unique playground for the brave souls who prefer hops and climbs to a leisurely walk.
It’s here, among these ancient rocks, I witness child and nature merge into a rapture of kinesthetic movement. My son plunges down and scrambles up. He bounds from peak to peak. I am immediately envious of his ability.
I step precariously onto the nearest boulder. My own shaky steps are riddled with thoughts of twisted ankles and skinned shins.
I’m transported back to age fifteen. I’m rollerblading miles from home, careening down a steep hill in the middle of the road without a helmet. I lean right and take the turn to my friend’s house at thirty miles per hour, eyes streaming tears and muscles warm with strength.
I struggle to remember my thoughts that day but I cannot. I can only sense an emotion of freedom and possibility tinged with fear, but it’s fleeting. I look back to my son and I feel a connection we share in that very moment, me at fifteen and he at age eleven, right now and right then, decades apart but happening simultaneously.
We are in the state of flow, the absence of thought and the total connection to the task at hand.
It is a state of bliss.
I am desperate for this flow as I watch him from afar. He is a consciousness devoid of worry. No future and no past exist when he is weightless and leaping. He trusts only gravity and his own depth perception. He looks, imagines what will happen next and achieves it. He never stops. He never regrets.
Soon, he looks up, surprised to find he has come to the end of his adventure. He takes a minute to enjoy his surroundings and send a wave back to me, safe on the path. I’m sad the end has come, because I feel it is a metaphor to my own existence. Have I come to the end?
Then he turns around and gathers his legs beneath him, and springs back the way he came. I am struck by a realization, and a smile comes to my face.
The way back home has just as many boulders.
Happy New Year.
Owner Spowerks LLC