Wednesday, September 2, 2009

birthday bliss

i finally recognized the desolate feeling: it was yearning for heaven.

i had a gorgeous birthday with my family yesterday:
we headed down to carpinteria, a mere drive of 25 minutes, but far away from our regular routine, to bask in dune sun, ocean spray, and tent life for the next 24 hours. together. it was my birthday wish that we might go camping, and my dancer husband indulged me graciously. he is the best!
borrowed a tent, loaded up the car, felt like vacation time. carp beach is wide, the sand is abundant and soft, the air tastes like salt. the campground was directly behind the dune, and we played in the beauty of the late afternoon california summer sun (finally it is summer here--finally!!! been cold and foggy this whole time). walked into town, that quaint little town, to get ice cream cones, firewood. built a smoky, smoky fire, darn firewood. had smoked corn, red bell peppers, carrots, portabellas, tzatziki with raw veggies, sparrow even got to eat hot dogs. met christians in neighboring camp spot who loaned us their propane lamp, and saved us from ourselves as we fumbled at our late smoked dinner with flash lights. golden to bed in her pack-n-play in the tent without protest. sparrow and thomas and i celebrate with cake and sweet singing. sparrow can't stop singing happy birthday to mommy. air mattress contains leak, not air. thomas has to leave us to go home for some thick blankets to sleep on instead. sparrow and i spied on the two raccoons who lived in the tree above our campsite. cleverly, quietly, they snuck over right after we entered the tent. we shone our lights on them and they faced us with cute, beguiling expressions. all our food and trash had been put away, so we did not discourage them, only looked, and sparrow asked if we could take them home. she was so tired and sugared that she practically fell asleep as we were attempting to roast marshmallows. "i'm really tired." that was a first. thomas back to sit by the coals, to snuggle with in the cool beach night. trains hooting by every now and then in the dark. baby awoke and went back to sleep without protest, she knows that you are supposed to feel safe at carpinteria beach. morning came with gray awakening to mandarin haze, and all tired and happy, watermelon morning, fire-coffee (which is how coffee tastes the best), more beach sand and chatting with neighbors (the family on the left had 4 under 8 and one on the way--it had been their dad's birthday last night too!) and that overdrive tired energy when you pack all the stuff together and tetris it into your volvo in preparation for departure. we said goodbye, and the forlorn feeling kicked in, my nostalgia, my sad longing to stay. ate lunch at oak park on the way back, then home to well-known parking lot and neighbors, into the familiar disorganization of our apartment. and my sticky reluctance clung to me til evening, when

i finally recognized the desolate feeling: it was yearning for heaven.

so it goes, every time there is a vacation creating an atmosphere of haven relaxation, augmented appreciation for love, carefree times of laughter... when the journey is over, my discontent sets in. a trip brings out the rapidly changing nature of life, that we don't notice so much in our everyday interactions with kitchen and carpet and grocery. and it highlights the poignant truth that everything must die. i long for it forever. and it only took me 28 years to figure out why.

No comments: