It’s our last day at the beach. I’m sitting by the water, feeling it lap up onto my toes and legs. It leaves wet sand behind, the type I love to let run though my fingers. It starts out solid but when you lift up your hands it pours its way back into the water.
I’ve watched and learned from my kids this trip. I studied my three year old jumping and splashing in the waves. Feeling the water on her toes, cold at first but quickly warming so she feels only the push and pull of the water. I saw her fill buckets with water, carry them up the beach and pour into a hole she dug to see the water drain away.
I waited while my just turned six year old feed and befriend one of the stray cats. She is patient day by day until, finally he purrs and rubs on her leg. Only then does she reach down and scratch his ears. I watched her paint a palm tree and a sunset and her stuffed kitty cat. Together we marvel at the sheer majestic movement of a sea turtle in the water. I recorded her dancing down the beach and laughing with glee as she glides through the waves on her board.
I sat beside my eight year old as he inhaled books. I joined in (for a while) while he boogie board for hours and hours and hours. Observed his studious yet friendly nature as he watched the local kids to learn how to spot and catch and ride the perfect waves. My heart felt full as he talked about how beautiful the sunset was one night.
Joy is how kids move and breathe and live.
We can all see this. Babies squish their avocado between their fingers and toddlers pat your face while they are nursing. Kids find the corner of mud in the garden just to feel it squish between their toes and dance with no thought of their skill.
I’m watching and letting them inspire me.
So I swim far out into the sea and dive down over and over again. The water pillows my body and caresses my face. As I go lower the water gets colder and I marvel at how I can feel the levels of temperature change. I swim as deep as I can go before my lungs feel heavy. Then I shoot back up and my face breaks the surface. As I gasp for breath the salt water stings my eyes. I float on my back and watch my toes above the water while the sea sparkles on forever. I sing and cry and feel alive.
I’d love to hear what brings you joy? Do you feel content with the amount of joy in your life or like me, could you use some rediscovery?