One stage of life can abruptly segue into another. It can also be a drawn out slow sequence of small events, each one adding a thimble full of bitterness to an already overflowing container of injustices. Mine was both, the end of my marriage happened quickly but in fact had been an ongoing demise with the usual suspects of our time. Emails and texts were not so much evidence of wrongdoings as proof that the chasm between husband and wife was now on an interplanetary scale. So what to do next? The route is shadowy and unclear, the journey has taken such a sharp turn that the path can no longer be seen. As a woman of a certain age, a divorcee, I am thrust into the age of reinvention. I am no longer the young bride, naive and filled with illusions that somehow I am immune to facing the jagged edge of the divorce statistics. Forming a union can happen so quickly, some lust, a few shared goals and a dash of passion and away we go. A dress and some cake will surely form the pillars of our life, gravity we believe will fail sooner than our vows. So when we are thrust into a new age, my naked left hand glaring and seeming to shout to the world that what was two is now one, where to find solace?
The sting of seawater goes a long way in reminding me that this too shall pass. The beaches I have been blessed to visit are my church. Digging my toes into sand and watching uncaring waves crash to shore is healing. So is the thought that I could just enter those waves and swim and swim until I could swim no more. Allowing that thought room, letting it have a very small corner of my mind is liberating. It affirms that I won’t. All the absolutes in my life have been unceremoniously tossed aside. Now there are only shades of grey. And saying always or never seems a throwback to a time before I realized the impermanence of those words. So I let the dark thoughts have a bit of my mind, but not too much. For there is far more to the strength and magnificence of the ocean than that. Taking life is easy. Hardly a challenge for the ocean, a small wave, a few inches of water, ice that cools our body. We are small fragile beings and being reminded of this fact by the ocean is good. The bigger task at hand is healing. It involves much more than keeping a heart beating. It takes time. But the ocean knows all about time. Ocean currents that circle the earth and see the shores where many a heartbroken human has sat on the beach pondering the meaning of it all. We only need to open up our minds to the possibility that our senses cannot tell us all there is. I can taste the saltwater, feel the small grains of sand sharp between my toes and hear the rhythmical music the waves entice me with. I see the light dance on the water, caress it gently and show me an ever changing palette of shades of blue we have yet to name. Waves will keep coming to the shore and retreating long after the scars on my heart have faded. That thought comforts me.