There’s this funny thing that happens when water meets the land… I’ve been drawn to that space since I was a little kid.
Barefoot, facing the ocean, toes rooted – you can feel all at once both the firmness of the ground and the way in which it continually shifts. Water pulls over the tops of your feet, rushing back behind your ankles as the waves crash in and run out on to the beach… and then the tickle of the reverse wash over your toes, the pull of sand out from under your feet. It’s one of my favorite things in the world to feel. Like standing on the summit of a mountain, it’s one of the best places in nature to just feel. Feel all of it.
A year ago I found myself in that very spot, teetering on the edge of Playa Carricitos, Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The clouds were thick and rippling above, but hovered like a Chinook about fifteen degrees off the horizon, creating a condensed channel of sunset that ran across the water to the beach in dancing reds, oranges and pinks.
Next to me was a woman. A Canadian chic hovering about 5’3”, she’d invited me to this beach on my last night in Mexico for wine and salsa. (Not the best pairing, but that’s a discussion for later.) As the sun was getting ready to tip below the horizon, we’d scampered from our sandy seats to the water’s edge, dug our toes in, and closed our eyes.
I could feel the last bit of sun warming my face, and – as those of you who know me well would not be surprised – totally took to the moment with goosebumps and tears… emotion coming out of my eyes and running lines down my skin with everything from the last 6 months. And this is the moment in which I found out that my new friend “felt people.” She didn’t go so far as to say she was a psychic… but you can do with what follows as you will.
“He says he’s proud of you,” she said, seemingly out of nowhere. “He loves you, and enough is enough. Get the hell out of Boulder.”
Now, I’ll put aside the shock of a) this coinciding with immense feelings that Jonny’s spirit had just joined us on the beach, and b) said-random woman who I’d known all of 4 days had just tapped in to my deceased boyfriend, when I’d never even mentioned him.
Instead, I’ll digress for a moment and beg to differ that “get the hell out of Boulder” was a little strong-handed. In short, the Boulder community is the shit. I could put that more gracefully, but there’s some strong sentiment in there.
What stuck with me more, and was the first thing I thought of the next morning, and the following morning… and was the one-liner of many a toasts with friends, and the ra-ra motto throughout the year… ironically muttered to me by random people on the street and showing up in conversations around the globe… was “Enough is Enough.”
Whew. Deep exhale on that one…
In the months previous to this moment, I’d felt the intense vibrations of a community swirl, support and shift… naturally flowing like good energy does towards those things that are about to fall down. I’d learned that in the midst of tragedy, when you are sure that every fiber of your being might suddenly collapse as the rug is ripped out from under your feet, that falling is actually harder than you think. For no matter which way you list, you ricochet off the vibrations of those all around you, and miraculously, you stay up. You’re suspended, you have support wires.
I’ve thought, consequently, that to stay still in this middle area propped up by the vibrations of others is probably the easy way out, a safe zone. It’s a protection mechanism, and one I’ve tried to consciously shed in the last year in favor of more extreme highs and lows, in search of more beauty, to get thrashed around by the blows. I know this about myself that I would rather ride the full extremes of a situation by moving through them, exploring and greeting them, than to stand still and feel like I might for even a second be lacking openness to life’s full potential.
And so, what then? Do I stand still, or throw myself to the waves? And for what? For life? For Love? For exploration, growth, discovery. Dancing, engaging, participating in my process, supporting that of another… and at the same time the realization that as much as it’s uncomfortable – moments of stillness are my crux.
December 3rd I drove away from Boulder, teary yet smiling, full of the vibrations of a community that I love beyond words, and ready to explore myself a bit outside “The Bubble.” Driving away that day, I had to laugh a bit when I realized it was exactly a year from that evening on the beach. While I do not think that now is the time to ‘get the hell out of Boulder’, it sure the heck is the time for a lot… Bring it on.
Enough is enough. I’m still trying to figure out what that means, but the closest approximation I have is that it has something to do with finessing the in between. The space between your limits and the unknown of your full potential. The kinetics between balance and falling over. The aesthetic and grace of moving through life mixed with the bumbling and stumbling of a 20-something as she tries to retain some sense of a dance between the toe-stubs of life.
Here’s to figuring some of that out.