The Flock

“Take a day for yourself,” he said.

My husband could see how good it was for me to spend Saturday pulling weeds, and come Sunday, he wanted to help me keep seeing and believing in a clear path.

“Do whatever you want today.”

The weather was perfect, so I hightailed it to the beach.

I am never more at home than when I am in the Atlantic.

There was a time when going to the beach by myself would’ve put me in knots.

Loser.  Here with all of your friends?

But, after becoming a wife, a Mom, a commuter, and a professional who takes her work much too seriously, the idea of spending an entire afternoon on the beach with no lunches to pack, or heads to count, or sand toys to lug, DID make me feel branded…

As smart, free, and so very lucky.

As the day slowly unraveled, I started to notice the seagulls.

Nearly a year ago around this time, I made another pilgrimage to the coast.  Deep in depression and riddled with anxiety, that sole journey was forced and made out of desperation.  I sat on the beach trying so hard to calm down, be present, take a real (real) deep breath, but I just couldn’t.

I just couldn’t put it down.

At the height of my fake calm, I wound up attacked by a flock of seagulls.  They stole everything from my sandwich, to my notebook, to my pride.

At one point I seriously considered abandoning my chair and giving up on the beach all together.

But, I didn’t.

On this day though, the seagulls were subtle.

While there were signs everywhere reminding you to cover your food as seagulls would steal it, I enjoyed my lunch in peace.

And at one point, when a seagull did land mere inches from my chair, she (I’m assuming) seemed to politely tip her head at me, and then quietly took off to join the rest of her flock on a rooftop.

Alone, together, glowing in the sun.

And all I could hear was:

Fly free.  Return well.  It’s brighter together.


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