Lee has gone to Ocala for a few days for work and I’ve been hanging out with the girls and my nephew, Tylor. He has been spending summers with me since he was 8 years old. Every where we’ve gone he’s come to join us. Last month he graduated from high school and for the past few weeks he’s been home in Ohio packing up his room and helping his momma prepare to move out of their house as he will be moving to Nashville to attend Lipscomb University living in the dorms on campus and my sister will rediscover her life separate from being a momma. The other day I watched Lee and Tylor sitting out in the water on surf boards, I had to catch my breath, it really was just yesterday that he was 9 years old in surf camp in Malibu and Bella was a baby on my hip. He has returned for another summer, a fine young man. He is thoughtful, calm, caring, wildly intelligent and loving. He blends in with our family as if he was never apart from us. In the early evenings just before sunset, Tylor sneaks away from the noise of little kids and combs the beach searching for shells and I think clear thoughts. The other night he found the most beautiful conch shell I’d seen anyone find, he brought it in and asked how to remove the conch living in it. When we googled we found either to hammer it out or drop the entire shell in boiling water. Both felt extreme, especially if it was just to be able to keep the shell for beauty and ownership purposes?
Just a day before Tylor found the shell Lee had invited some friends over to celebrate the Summer Equinox down on the beach. He led us in a ceremony celebrating the seasonal change, when we moved around the circle stating what we were choosing to let go of and what we appreciated about our lives, Tylor said that he was letting go of his childhood home and moving into his adult life both feeling loss and gratitude. Removing the Conch from his home was not an option, Tylor had seen himself inside the pretty shell and placed it back in the sea.
I don’t know if being in Sayulita for a week on that mad writing binge shifted me but ever since I returned to Nashville I have felt closed in, I thought it was because I was missing Senora Gina and our fabulous connection but now I know that it was also the Ocean. Sitting here looking out and only seeing sky and water is freeing to my mind – it’s like a giant blank canvas created by god where I can see my thoughts splash across it with out distraction, I am also loving being just with my family. I don’t want to drive anywhere, just be – I’ve been cooking, playing with my kids and writing, moving my way through my book or books – depends once we finish this editing/cleaning up process and I can see just what I’ve done. In the late afternoon Lee brings out his guitar and we all sing, just like when I was kid only then it was my Uncle Mike leading.
Tonight Lee returns from Ocala a day earlier and with him my grandparents will be. I’ve not seen them in a year, I can’t wait – as I so want my girls to remember them too, to know who it is WE come from. I watched my nephew walk down the beach last night and thought of how our family lineage moves through generations carrying the message that we are meant to understand, in my family it is to remember ones honor and nobleness. To love each other deeply and that our connection to those we love is most important and first. As I see Tylor as a man I see my sisters accomplishment, as the oldest I again am following her lead just as Lola clings to every move Bella makes, I too am still attempting to mirror my big sister – she raised an outstanding human, I too reach for this same achievement with my girls.
Family vacations are not about doing stuff but being together…..