Serenity Now

George’s dad on Seinfeld would utter “serenity now” when things around him brought on stress. Borrowing those words as my title feels appropriate this morning after having watched the sunrise on the beach at Kiawah Island. Not that I was being stressed, but rather that I was finding serenity now.

Sunrise is at 6:59 am on the Island and having arisen at 6:30, I had just enough time to throw on some clothes and get out to the beach in time to watch the sun begin to brighten the eastern skyline. Not sure of what I would see, I headed to the beach with a sense of excitement mixed with the fatigue I was feeling from an overactive yesterday, a restless night of sleep, and the early hour.

The first thing one notices when staying at the ocean, is the rhythmic sound of the waves washing up on the shore. With each step closer to the beach, the sound of the waves washing ashore increased a sense of inner quiet within me. As I hiked over the dune and the beach came into view, my fatigue and any stress I had been feeling, vanished. The sun, not yet visible, was casting its dusky light over the scene and there, not 10 yards away, stood four deer poised at the tide’s edge staring back at me. I stood mesmerized watching them as they resumed their stroll down the empty beach, devoid of the hundreds of vacationers that would crowd the beach later in the day. For now, the beach belonged to those four deer and by default, me.

There are places on earth that invoke a sense of peace, maybe it’s a majestic mountain view or an empty beach with its vast ocean backdrop. Where ever that place exists, watching a sunrise bathe that view with all its serene beauty cannot help but bring a sense of peace. This morning, as I watched the sunrise over my beach, I found that sense of peace. Any stress I brought along with me on this vacation, melted in that slowly unfolding light of dawn. The sun’s rays, casting light up through the horizon, created beautiful bands of orange as they began to awaken the morning sky. And then, right on cue, the golden orange ball of the sun began to rise from edge of the ocean.

I wish that I could have had you there on the beach with me this morning to both witness and feel the peacefulness of that scene. I can only hope that my writing and photos will give you some sense of the experience.

Serenity Now

Arrived

We left Madison three days ago after a year and month of COVID isolation. The temp that morning was 20 degrees and a high of 38 degrees was forecast for the day. Our first night was spent in Cincinnati, OH and our second in Asheville, NC. Late this afternoon we reached our destination on Kiawah Island, SC. The temperature, 75 degrees. I am, as I write this, sitting on the screen porch of our VRBO with a local brew in my hand, watching an alligator sunning in the canal below. Warning, before you put two and two together and conclude our house is unoccupied and easy pickings, besides our ever watchful neighbors, did I mention the eight foot python we recently purchased.

Relaxation Station

It was quite the drive to get here but so scenic and so refreshing after a year of vacationing in my back yard, putting a mere 500 miles on my vehicle in the course of the entire year. I swear I could hear my jeep purring as I turned towards the interstate and began to put the miles behind us. There is a lot to be said for a road trip. A road trip gives you the chance to bond with your fellow traveler or plot where to leave them, just kidding Deb. A road trip gives you the opportunity to experience Americana and to just take in sights on a whim. It is the adventure Jack Kerouac alludes to when he writes, “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” Never discount the road trip.

Breakfast in Cincinnati, the pancakes rivaled the ambiance.

For the next week, I will attempt a round of golf on a course light years beyond my ability to play it. I will walk the beach and maybe manage to catch a few sunrises over the Atlantic. I will put as many miles as my legs can handle on my bike. And I will generally put the world of stress and COVID behind me. I will regenerate. For those of you who know me well, know that I have traveled often, sometimes with detailed plans and sometimes by the seat of my pants. This trip feels different. I would be a liar if I said the isolation of this past year hadn’t left me damaged. This trip is the beginning of my repair.

We have arrived. All that is left now is to be: stress free, plan limited, senses alert, and open to the healing that time away can bring.

Three days and 1100 miles later ………….. Let the smiles rival the miles.