The past five days have been soul-filling and joyful. I have had such a wonderful time reconnecting with my friends Stacey and Steven, the Pacific Coast, and myself. In a usual year, this would mark the end of my vacation time. I would be refreshed and ready to return to work. In a usual year, even though the rest of this day would be vacation, my mind would already be returning home, to what needs to get done, and whether or not I feel ready to accomplish it. With this being a month-long sabbatical, I am enjoying the realization that this is only the first third (ish) of my month, with even more time to experience the rest and rejuvenation I need, as well as all that is in store for me. What a blessed opportunity.

While each day on this leg of the trip has been full of good things, it wasn’t until our beach day yesterday that I realized the depth of my contentment. The local beach we were relaxing at is not one for big waves or even much of a shore break. We easily walked past the waves and spent some time floating and drifting in the ocean, enjoying the occasional jump over waves. As we relaxed into the pattern of the tide, our conversation lulled and we each wandered into our own thoughts. I caught myself humming and then singing a few random nonsense bars of music. I quickly smiled and laughed because it so clearly exemplified the joy overflowing within me.

I can’t remember the last time I mindlessly sang to myself like that, but that has always been a part of me. As a little girl, I would sing all the time. Melodies would flow from my lips and I would just let it go (way before Elsa). I would sing to the trees, with the wind and birds, with any aspect of creation that would join me. It was my way of being in the moment. Catching myself in that moment yesterday was such a gift to myself. It will be my quest to continue these moments for the rest of the month!

I’ve also enjoyed puppy time with Holden, Stacey and Steven’s nine month old Doberman. Saying goodbye to Lola a few months ago has still been so hard for me to get used to. Holden has been a sweet-but-rascally boy that has given me the puppy energy I’ve needed to get me outside of myself and into the moment. He has been a reminder of the gift of companionship that God created us for.

Finally, this visit would not have been complete without delicious food to bring us together throughout the day. All three of us enjoy cooking, good drinks, and finding new food to experience! So, of course, much of our past few days have been centered on what we will enjoy together! These meals provided not only sustenance but also opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and conversation. Thank God for good food and good friends!

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