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From the bed in our room, we could see the sun rise out of the ocean. The change in light woke me every morning, an awakening I was happy for, unlike the daily grind of an alarm clock, even though it was early. I would get up, slip into my white silk robe, watch the sun come up, shoot some images, and then crawl happily back in bed for another hour or two until breakfast. Every single sunrise was worth it.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “One day you do meet a man who kisses you and you can’t breathe around it and you realize you don’t need air. Oxygen is trivial. Desire makes life happen. Makes it matter. Makes everything worth it. Desire is life. Hunger to see the next sunrise or sunset. To touch the one you love. To try again.” — Karen Marie Moning

Daily gratitudes:
Adults soccer players under siege by tiny soccer players
Sand
Cowboy boots
My poor baby girl with her black eye and sprained ankle
Missing MKL on days we don’t get to see each other

There were a lot of views from Rasta’s on the South end of Cozumel, but I love this one, taken through the window of the massage room. I doubt it’s the most relaxing environment for a massage (I didn’t get one), being above a crowdy rowdy bar, but the scenery was fabulous. The food was only fair, but the beer was cold, and the vibe pleasant enough. They bus cruise ship passengers in, which makes it rather crowded, but everyone deserves a piece of paradise.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “It’s all in the view. That’s what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count.” — Sarah Dessen

Daily gratitudes:
Forward progress
Morning birdsong
Sprouting iris
Breakfast with my in-laws
MKL

Living in a hole on the seaside edge of the rock wall of out little patio was this lovely iguana that I named Pancho Villa Sue. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. Sometimes animals just tell me their names. She hung out on the wall, in the sun, around the grounds, by the pool, and according to another guest, could be handfed if done carefully. I’ve made iguana friends before in Little Cayman, and have petted and fed them, so I didn’t need to do that, but Pancho Villa Sue seemed to like me, and hung out with me quite a bit, occasionally doing her little head bops. She, along with MKL, were all the companions I needed.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Mexico admits you through an arched stone orifice into the tree-filled courtyard of its heart, where a dog pisses against a wall and a waiter hustles through a curtain of jasmine to bring a bowl of tortilla soup, steaming with cilantro and lime. Cats stalk lizards among the clay pots around the fountain, doves settle into the flowering vines and coo their prayers, thankful for the existence of lizards. The potted plants silently exhale, outgrowing their clay pots.” — Barbara Kingsolver

Daily gratitudes:
Green things sprouting in the backyard
Lovely nights
Healthy cooking
Dancing with MKL
My cuddly cat

Not right now, but it was for some time, and it was amazing. I believe all of the things they say about being by the sea being a healthier place to be, what with negative ions and all. We were blessed to be able to have the time here that we did, and my creativity was fed like some sort of undersea volcano. Consequently, it has been harder than usual to make the transition back to the cold, brown, overcrowded daily world. And so I draw again upon the strength of gratitudes, and allow myself today. A day following a night in which I woke several times listening for the crash of the waves against the limestone rocks beneath our room, and waiting for the sun to rise from the sea.

Travel broadens the horizons before your eyes and the horizons that live within you. It changes us in ways we cannot quite put our collective finger on. We return with colorful memories, deeper intimacy, renewed peace, revived goals, and fresh determination. The hard part is holding onto those gifts we gain from travelling once we return home.

Our Beach

Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.” — Virginia Woolf

Daily gratitudes:
Two yellow crocuses in bloom
A lovely drive yesterday
Hot baths to soak away the blues
Doctor Zhivago, one of my Mother’s favorite movies
A snuggly cat happy to have me home

 

Another surrogate daughter shared something tonight that, on top of an anxiety-provoking experience, made me think about who I am. I am a person who:

Rescues ants from drowning in hot springs pools
Would prefer to shoo a fly out a door instead of splatter it on the wall
Says hi to every dog I get close to, even before saying hi to their owner
Picks up things for strangers when they drop them
Ask confused looking tourists if they need help with directions
Stops to see if I can help children who look lost and scared
Wants to tell you if your tire is going flat when I’m driving next to you
Tries to help an old friend who I haven’t spoken with in years who posts a suicidal message on social media (this is how I have spent much of my evening)
Will write “you are amazing” on any available public chalkboard
Is still trying to figure out how to get out of my own way
Looks for the tiny things that make me smile each day
Tries to see the positive in all negatives
Loves my daughter – and my many surrogate daughters – with my whole heart
Misses friends from my school years with whom I’m no longer in touch
Would give the shirt of my back (or in one case, my bra) to a friend in need
Tries to think before she speaks
Makes sure that my words are kind
Hopes I’ve made a meaningful difference in one life in the course of my own
Is crazy stupid in love with my husband
Thinks that there are positives in every person
Wants to have a good relationship with my ex-husband
Is happiest by water
Believes the people we have lost to death are with us still
Loves to draw hearts in the sand…

And so much more. That’s just a drop on the surface of the sea of me. But tonight, I felt the need to share it.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “To be kind, honest and have positive thoughts; to forgive those who harm us and treat everyone as a friend; to help those who are suffering and never to consider ourselves superior to anyone else: even if this advice seems rather simplistic, make the effort of seeing whether by following it you can find greater happiness.” — Dalai Lama XIV

Daily gratitudes:
My truck
That MKL is a little happier
That my heating pad has chosen to work tonight
My physical therapist
Kelsea and my girls

 

 

 

One of my surrogate daughters asked me today if I loved or hated the snow. It’s truly a thin line between love and hate, though it’s certainly not a thin line between sand and snow. Those two are generally as far apart as Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, and as we all know, I’m on the sandy side.

I love the sound of snow, like a softly crocheted blanket dropping slowly and gently on the earth. I like the silence that accompanies it, the dearth of traffic, the stillness of the birds which are just now starting to explore the possibility of perhaps maybe conceivably returning. It’s beautiful when it is pristine and untouched, unshoveled, unplowed. If I could sit in a tower and watch it swath the hills and trees and fields, I would love it. Working from a cozy house as it piles up isn’t bad either.

With my internal furnace currently set at magma, the cold doesn’t bother me so much, but going out in the snow is just a huge struggle. I’d love to go cross-county skiing or snowshoeing, but getting ready to go out, getting to the car, making it driveable, and getting anywhere is just … no.  I remember that from my childhood, when three inches of snow was a ridiculous amount. We never saw 16 inches in North Carolin in those days.

We seem to have topped out at around that foot and a half point with this storm, which the most accurate weatherman called a “crockpot” storm, because it took a while to develop. Now we just wait for the meltdown. Perhaps if I threw my magma-hot self into the snowbank, it would help things along.

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Snow on my favorite fuzzy tree, Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Cold and silence. Nothing quieter than snow. The sky screams to deliver it, a hundred banshees flying on the edge of the blizzard. But once the snow covers the ground, it hushes as still as my heart.” — Laurie Halse Anderson

Daily gratitudes:
Making soup on a cold day
Having help shoveling my walk
That MKL is home safe
Counting down
Friends

 

 

 

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