The day after my mother passed I found myself searching for her. Perhaps this is normal. Perhaps even the first stage of grief. All I know is I could not get enough of her. Every dusty photo became a treasure I was seeing for the first time. Even braving the traffic from New Jersey through Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge and past Prospect Park, to stand on these steps, the very ones my mother skipped up and down, the steps her many beaus walked, and finally through this doorway went my father. This home, 1510 on Albemarle Road, that housed my great-grand parents and their ten, then my grandparents and their eight, a house where I brought two of my own for visits. A place to celebrate Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Where my grandfather’s casket was brought and the house filled with condolences. The house my grandmother packed up and said goodbye to, and yet I found myself here, sensing the shadow of generations, of a mother who I miss.
Two weeks living on the ocean’s edge, the only constants in my day was the sound of pounding surf and sand on my feet, a morning swim and bike ride to get milk or meet the ferry as more family arrived, filling the wagon with luggage and boxes of food, a walk along the shore, beach volleyball, afternoons riding the waves, beach yoga, shucking corn, beach dance music, eating peaches, beach runs, ice cream, laughing, moonlit swims, and letting the clock hands fade for a brief time-less span. Our only agenda, unwind and restore.
Nine Cent Girl is my love and joy, to ponder, to construct, and to write. However, for the next two weeks two other loves will dominate my time. First, writing and editing my novel all morning in my vacation-home-makeshift-office…
and second, lazing around with my family on the beach all afternoon. Time to ride the waves, collect shells, and listen to the stories.
Luckily, this August affords us the leisure to walk along the shore, chat about the months apart, and sit long enough to watch the sun set deep into the horizon until we relax fully.
These last dog days of summer take a hiatus from your day to day grind. Shift gears to low. September will be here soon enough.