|brown rice with jalapeño-lime almonds, citrus-sesame slaw and barbecued tofu (which you can’t quite see)|
Isn’t it weird how we’re all born in different places and then raised, in a sense, and shaped by them? What if I hadn’t been born by the sea? Would I feel some inexplicable yearning for it? For its saltiness and the way it humbles me? For the way it cradles me and teaches me about life? Or would I find something else that would satisfy the same desires? “Maybe rock climbing”, I think on this cool Sunday evening (although, I’m not convinced).
Scott sits about five feet from me on the couch reading Treasure Island and the back door is slightly cracked, allowing the quickly cooling afternoon breeze to sneak into our house and blow the linen curtains in a way that makes them seem alive.
I’m sitting adjacent to him in our big green arm chair writing in my journal and wondering about life. We limited our TV watching for Lent and my mind feels freed from that habit I am realizing now is rather constricting.
Scott had a four day weekend and seeing as I work from home on Fridays, I decided to give myself the day off. We surfed and swam in the ocean for what felt like the last two days.
I surfed my favorite spot with my dad and Kevin who nearly never paddle out there even though it’s only 100 yards from their usual spot. Scott bodysurfed since his back has been bothering him. He also snapped a few pictures of us as we rode past. It felt very relaxing to be out there. Being swayed by the sea feels more natural to me sometimes than walking on land.
Writing about the ocean makes me feel like a fool sometimes, though, so I won’t go on and on. I still do it (obviously), but I often convince myself that it is one of those things that is so incomprehensible that you should just leave it to speak for itself and give up trying to label it. But I do have to say that, that big blue salty thing makes me feel the joys and sorrows in life all at once; how beautiful it is to be married and how devastating it is that my cousin has cancer. The ocean makes me intensely aware of life. I know Scott feels the same way even though he doesn’t feel the need to gush about it as regularly as I do.
Sitting in our living room now, I think back on those sessions we had with friends and family and the meals we shared together the past few days. On Friday night, my mom made a delicious slaw. The word slaw doesn’t seem to do it justice because that word reminds me of pig food, but trust me, it was good! My dad and Scott barbecued chicken for everyone else and tofu for me. Sometimes imagining myself as high-maintenance makes me laugh and sometimes it makes me cringe, but my family loves me and they barbecue my tofu without a fuss. Kevin even convinced my dad to try a piece of tofu, and for once he didn’t wince. Progress, I conclude. I try to cement these memories in my mind, even though these days are simple and recurring, because they seem to be the ones that teach me most about who I am. I look forward to the day when my younger sisters return home from the east coast and Scott’s family comes to town so we can all make these memories together.
I’m writing this down in my journal as Scott gets up to go change before we head over to dinner at “Uncle” Kevin’s house. “Ten minutes until 5” he says as he walks past and squeezes my shoulder.
All I can think to write down now is that we’re meant to encounter the things we do. We are born to certain people, in certain places for a reason. We can’t know what’s coming or exactly why things happen, but we have to make our way and find love.
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