Sometimes events happen that take a bit of time to sift through. This week, I voluntarily returned to, and spent time in Ormond Beach. In the last twenty months, I have only been back one other time,for an overnight trip, and honestly my only thought then was how fast could I leave.
I guess eventually you miss the ocean enough that you are willing to conquer your fears to get to it.
There's so much in this life, in this world, that I'll simply never understand. What happened to us is one of them. The repercussions of it still resound deep and painful down the fractures of my psyche at the most surprising moments. But as I drove familiar roads and past the old house ( sporting a new front door, which I really hope means that someone is finally living in it. It's a good house.) I found that I can mostly remember now with fondness. I didn't worry too much about who I might see or what they might say as I shopped for beach chairs in Walmart. (Seriously, I live on a lake, a BIG lake, in Georgia and I can't find beach chairs here. There's another thing I may never understand.). In fact it felt distinctly surreal at times, as though I had never left, so very unchanged were many things.
Maybe the reassuring presence of a good friend who was outside the whole situation and who asked a lot of questions, letting me babble and ramble on whatever thoughts came into my head helped to settle the unanswerables into a small tidy pile with fewer sharp edges.
Maybe the vastness of the ocean helped to put my place in the scheme of things into the proper perspective.
Maybe time and space and love and healing and boundaries and distance and humility and repentance are the recipe for contentment.
I was, in the end, sad to leave, but when I finally drove down that last stretch of road where the hills roll out to the horizon and sun shines dusty sunset motes through the pines, the lake lapping quick-silver against red clay, I was very glad to be finally home.