Time Out

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colours came out

It’s a beautiful day,
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day… ~ U2

This morning I woke up and did a rare morning ritual; I sat on my back steps and watched the sun rise. Normally, I would be out running and catch the start of the day with a mile to go. By then the sun (if it is not to become an overcast day) awakens in a glow of orange and grayish green.  As I sat in my robe sipping my hot coffee, the rise was clearly pink and blue.

I have the day off from work today, but there is always work to do.  However, the forecast for today promises to be warm and sunny; a rare occurrence in November! So, do I spend it inside reading articles for a meeting later on this week? The answer is an obvious and resounding “NO!”  Darkness begins to descend up here at about 3:30 in the afternoon. You can almost feel everyone beginning to hunker down. I guess that is why I get up so early; I want to grab the light and soak it in for as long as possible!  Fresh air is also vital to my well-being and staying indoors for a long period of time makes me feel like a caged animal. So, instead of reading or raking ( I am so done for the season), I am going to the beach with my girlfriends!

I do not feel one ounce of guilt about this decision either! My profession can be all-consuming at times and lately I find myself getting annoyed about the expectations that are placed upon both me and my colleagues. I love to work hard and I even stay late (sometimes this is the most productive part of my day-no one is around), but my job is not my life. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I received a message from one of my friends who is a beach bum like me.

On days like these, you can expect the shore to be visited by diehards like us. Two notable contrasts from the summer are dogs and horse back riders. The no animals rule does not apply at this time of year and it truly is a beautiful sight to watch the dogs play and the horses sprint in the surf.  The sky is huge and there is even a sense of calm here as the three of us took a long walk at the water’s edge.

Strolling in the sand and surf with my soul sisters provides sustenance and a kind of emotional energy for me. All three of us are moms and working women who are equally involved in our faith community.  Finding time to tune in to one another is a challenge.  When we get together, there is a constant flow of conversation and we always pick up where we left off.  Interestingly, we also find ourselves discovering new insights into each others lives-past and present!  When you reach our age, all bets are off-no judgements, no secrets-we support one another in worries big and small and in the good stuff too.

Today we took time to notice the world around us. We climbed the rocks to watch the November sun shimmer on the water. We stopped to watch a little girl play in the sand with her bathing suit on and kids flying their kites in the breeze. We paid attention to the changes in tide and the way the ground felt beneath our feet. We watched a family climb the jetty and release a bouquet of balloons into the wind.  We marked this day by taking photos of our footprints in the sand.

Spending a few hours with my friends at the ocean has a way of raising me up and removing me from the daily obligations that at times just wears me down. I feel renewed, fulfilled and centered when I am with them. When I am in the company of my girlfriends, I find myself smiling on the outside and inside.

So as much as I would like to think that I took a time out from things today, I really took a time in. As the rest of my day unfolded, I discovered that I could get things done more easily and with a more positive attitude. I can now look to the week ahead with a fresher perspective.

So soul sisters, I bow to you!  Thank You Thank You Thank You for a beautiful day!

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