Ocean of Surrender

“The mass is more complex than that. We want to run some blood work to check for cancer.”


This is not what I was expecting to hear at all. I was expecting something about 50+ year old bodies no longer functioning the way they used to. Maybe a list of possible procedures. Maybe “let’s watch it and see what it does.”

Cancer is a very big two-syllable word.

I let myself have the reaction. Watched as my thoughts flew to the last year of my dad’s life, with daily trips to the center. He was 84, and this isn’t even a related issue. But chemo? What a huge investment of time and money, and my bias is toward natural health. Not pumping toxins in. Would I become even more weak and fatigued? Would my hair fall out?

This would be tough Connor, on my 16 year old empathic son. He’s got enough on his plate already. Not to mention me asking him to pitch in even more around the house while I have several naps a day.

Just let the thoughts have their way. None of it is real yet. Face the fear as it comes, and resistance won’t hold me back when I need to be fully present.

If that were to be how I’d spend this fall and winter, what would I most want to do or create before then?

Ocean. I want to sit quietly by the ocean and process. And I want my kiddo, who wants to be a marine biologist, to also have that chance to really recharge. So I made reservations.

The test results came back all clear. I’m back in the “let’s watch this” category. And with some expert Chinese medicine, I’m rebuilding already. So the trip was more a relaxed celebration and a chance to re-vision.

I’d visited Cambria a couple of times for rallies of round-the-world motorcycle adventure riders. A pretty little seaside tourist town with uncrowded streets and beach. And a hostel, which Connor enjoys.

Only a few rooms, and they’re shabby-chic quaint.

Luckily there’s a restaurant right across the street.

Morro Bay

We really enjoyed walking the beach at Morro Bay. So good to open to the cool breeze with all the ocean smells. Tangy salty wet splashes and kelp on the beach. Just walkin’ along without any particular destination or timetable. Feeling. Feeling the air on my skin. Feeling my body move gently. Living into it fully.

So many treasures and curiosities. And Connor could tell me all about every one of them, which was pretty darn cool!

And Moonstone Beach near Cambria

Watching Connor watch the lizard. A mommy’s joy.

Treasure trove! Long, unhurried time to sift through and touch whatever catches my eye. Nothing else that needs to be done in this moment.

Just enjoy the beach and my boy, gentle background swush of the tide.

What is there, just ahead? Curiosity pulls me onward. In truth, my imagined time sitting on the beach painting or journaling never happened. My meditation is the surrender to my senses, following the impulse to sit or stroll, receiving the experience without leaking energy thinking “about” the experience (or distractions of other imagined experiences I wasn’t having, like getting a little extra work done).

Elephant Seal Beach

We drove up to Big Sur. First stop, Elephant Seal Beach. The smell there was Not Good.

Sand bath for baby

It was a misty, mysterious day for a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.

We stopped so Connor could get out and explore. I sat quietly and just enjoyed.

Julia Pfeiffer State Park

The waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer was beautiful.

I think Julia and I would have gotten on well together

We decided our sweet little Italian car needed a name, as she developed quite an attitude over the course of the trip, so we called her Sophiat.

She was quite insistent on the importance of wearing seatbelts. We took turns giving dubbed-in voice to her nagging, with terrible Italian accents. Connor had me laughing so hard the tears ran down my face ~ and that in the middle of LA traffic.

This looked like the perfect place for the two of us to have dinner.

More Beaches

Our last day, we played our way back south. A chilly, mystic morning along the ocean. So many moods and subtleties. And I want to revel in all of them!

Taking our time, playing hide and seek among the tide pools.

Nature’s own composition of beauty.

A couple of sea otters joined us for a while. Perhaps they wondered what those quiet critters were.

Morro Bay Reprise

Then back to Morro Bay, where we rented a tandem sea kayak for an hour of adventure on the water.

Out beyond the boat moorings

We had company on our journey. We pulled in our paddles and just floated, enjoying the lull of the water. This fellow popped up a couple feet away and splashed away in surprise when he realized he wasn’t alone. He had to come back to investigate.

Then a quick walk around the tourist shops and art galleries.

And back to the city to fly out the next morning.

I’m grateful for the alert from my body to choose one something I most wanted to do. Over the last few months, as I’ve been so fatigued I’ve let go of any activity that wasn’t mandatory or nourishing. Now as I’m starting to feel my vitality return, I have a nearly blank slate for my days. And that curiosity bubbles right up again… what will be next? What’s just over this hill?

Whatever it is, I want to experience it fully. Vibrant and alive. Passionate and joyful.

How do you know when you are “between” or re-inventing?

What is the one something that lets you completely clear your palate so you can be fresh for the next juicy taste of Life’s adventures?

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