By the Water I Feel Whole

Okay, true talk. I cried when we crossed the bridge onto Mount Desert Island and I saw the water. Yes, I cried right then and several times during our brief time in Maine, including as we left. A couple of weeks ago Rev Jo asked where we go to be restored and I barely remembered where that was, but my body didn’t forget! The water, specifically the ocean. Years in the Pacific Northwest allowed trips to the rocky shore to be a part of life. Long walks on the shoreline, sitting watching and listening to the waves, the smell of sea air, searching tidal pools for sea creatures.

I’d forgotten that my body was carrying so much anxiety, self-doubt, guilt, pain, and fear. I had become numb to the daily routine of masks and distancing and very limited social interaction. And I’ve actually had it relatively easy personally, because my children are grown and gone and I am in good health. But my anxiety and fear were still there, especially around how to do my job when everything I knew about my work had been upended. The fear and guilt over letting down families at Live Oak is real, y’all.

I watched younger colleagues pivot with relative ease and I felt old as I experi-failed over and over this past year. Pored over new information about COVID-19 and safety each week. Pushed through learning curve after learning curve regarding creating and editing video and, on the personal side, unlearning racism. It’s been a year for all of us, and your staff is tired. All of us.

About a month ago I remember feeling so full that I didn’t think I could hold one more bit of information or reflect on one more article. That’s where I find myself today. Planning for our return in September when I can’t see clearly. Knowing I need to ramp up my study again to prepare. Finding it difficult to put together a sentence that people can comprehend. All while needing more time at the ocean to just sit and listen and heal.

My wish for you is that you find the place that heals you. Give yourself the space and time to release all the weight of the past 15 months. Cry, scream, dance — do whatever your body and mind need to be restored.

May it be so!


PS: the song is about a river, but it played through my mind as I wrote this: