The Journey back

Sunrise San Cristobal

My number one goal while lying stoned on pain meds and unable to get to the bathroom alone, winter deepfreeze crystalizing the landscape and frosting the window above me, was to be standing in the sunset palapa.

Drinking a glass of local rum on ice with a lime from out of the tree. To watch the sunset and know we were there. We had done it. Hardly an end but an unknown horizon ahead.

And there we were.

Tears streaming down my face, savoring each shift of light, the birds, the setting sun. Searing pink streaks and brushes of peach and gold across a fading blue sky.

An old playlist; casually put on, was the perfect soundtrack for a goal 7 years in the making.

I sobbed with happiness. Grinned with absolute joy and clung to my husband. An incredible new adventure so longed for, now a very surreal reality.

After another Fall of being laid up in bed with back flare up after flare up, made getting here that much sweeter.

I said to EJ, “ I feel like I am getting all my tough life lessons out of the way so I can have the best year of my life yet.”

Just getting on a plane crippled me during the first leg of our journey, then two weeks later, a bit more mobile with less medication, I whispered to EJ just get me to the sea and I will heal.

I would go slow. I would be patient. I would communicate my injury and get the support from my new family of friends. I would walk and swim and lay like a lizard in the sun or like a happy panting dog in the shade. If I am not mobile, I will get a puppy, perfect my Spanish, and learn all the plants and trees in the area.

It was a rough start to my 40’s, not knowing who I was without using my body in sport and play. Not knowing if I could ever surf again. Not really able to see my next ten years, to truly be able to visualize a future.

And now one month later, I sob once more with absolute soul filled joy.

This morning after 3 hours of sleep, I woke. Wrestled out of the mosquito net with creaking back and hamstrings like beef jerky. Staggering by the light of my I phone, out into a slight offshore breath of wind.

I breathed deep and gazed up, smiling under a full moon and the glimmer of dawn creeping. Constellations setting, as the sun tries to climb high enough to kiss the moon before he sinks below the shimmering sea.

I walk past the security guards thanking them for another quiet night. Their grinning missing-teeth smiles follow me as they place their guns and machetes on the table to be put away until sunset.  I wander down the lane as the light grows stronger, old traveling songs making my heart ache through my I pod.

I walk smiling and fighting off tears. Waking dogs barking, fires burning in hearths. I wave to families stretching out of hammocks above mud floors and grass roof dwellings.

I feel my back and hips stretch as I watch the sun spread her fingers over a volcan San Cristobal, just a silhouette in the distance. Pigs grunting, cows on their daily commute from pasture to pasture. Friends on motor bikes begin to pass on their way to work, with a fast honk and a wave.

I turn to see my husband, pulling up beside. Boards loaded, water jugs full. We grin at each other, munching on peanuts, and have our normal morning banter as we bump down worn dirt roads.

We turn the corner to see bigger swell and waves heaving onto the beach. We recognize friends in the water and trucks pulled onto sand dunes.

Sun shimmers across an out going tide. I stretch some more, and for a moment consider if I’m strong enough to paddle out. The question rolls by with another beautiful wave and I don’t think twice.

I time my exit to the back of the line up. I stroke off to the side, and within moments a perfect peak rolls towards me. I look around and it’s only me. Without a thought, I do what my heart and soul loves more than anything.

I paddle into the wave of the morning, making a deep drop and carve across a fast glistening section; a long wall that makes me yip with joy. I carve like before, unhurt, confident, and pull off with a dolphin dive off the top of the wave to swim below the depths and squeal with joy. Popping up to cheers of friends and relief of my husband.

I can see and feel the future we have been working so long towards.

I am home and nearly whole in body, with wisdom and support to go slow. My heart overflows and I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

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