500 words to share with you The Last Time I was Happy for a Week Straight
There’s a sort of greedy misconduct that comes with the life of anxiety and depression. It can have a way of consuming your life and so you might not be inclined to track the happy days verses the not happy days. At least I have found I can’t get too caught up in the pattern of the ups and downs. However, I can tell you without a doubt my week of happiness came in the form of a last minute road trip to Florida in April this year. I’m cheating a bit because it was 6 days, but 6 days of happiness is a feast in the sometimes desert of my moods.
My Mum tossed the idea our way to drive down to Florida for my great-aunt’s 90th ‘surprise’ birthday party, mere days away. I’m not much for Florida. The heat of hades lives there and the humidity makes Indiana look like Hawaii. Life needed an adventure and an adventure with my brother and sister-in-law was what the proverbial doctor ordered.
Hours of driving in near perfect weather (check). Audiobooks and podcast chuckles (check). Meaty, sink your teeth into conversations with two of my favorite people…some awkward, but freeing (check). Experiencing Airbnb for the first time and having two GREAT experiences (check). The usual drama that follows familial obligation (check), but this is what stories are made of, right? Driving and stressing out a bit while I made my way through Atlanta (check). Quite certain the traffic there is its own level of hell.
I might interject here that the very fact I’m grinning like an exhausted madwoman while I write this is proof of the medicine I found on this trip.
Sarasota boasts many things, but the beach must be the place where your heart may leap out of your chest and decide to live in the sea—erm the Gulf. The sand has won awards, no joke, for best sand in the world. Your feet will bless you for walking on what can only be described as powdered sugar for miles and miles. White, smooth, and a refreshing coolness counter the balmy air around you. Why aren’t more mermaids begging to come to shore at Siesta Key Beach? The sand is 99% pure quartz!
There is something about Florida in April and being with people you can be yourself with that makes everything behind you fall away.
Perhaps my favorite part of the trip was ignoring the many admonishments from family about not arriving at the beach after dark. I know, such rebels! At night the beach is a quiet you will not find many places because at the same time it is so deafening. Standing at the shore, the darkness blinding you to the city lights behind you, and the water pleading at your feet; what an almighty peace descended in those moments. I could see the dome of the earth, the stars were fighting for their shine, and I could hear the siren call of my people. It is a moment in time you don’t mind the feeling of smallness enveloping you as you look at the vastness before you.
I quickly stripped to my bathing suit. If it wasn’t for disrupting the holy silence of the scene, I would have screamed profanities to the naysayers. We certainly shouldn’t get in the water after dark!?! Zoe, my sister-in-law, ran down the beach to join in on the rebellion. We huddled closely in the freezing water, waiting for the sharks to nip our toes, and loved the memory we were basking in.
“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow