There is an old saying that I’ve always loved from one of my favorite authors, Isak Dinesen:
“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”
And if that’s true, this week was filled with cures for me. After spending a wonderful week with a friend last week, she made arrangements for a small cottage by the sea to be my shelter for a few days. It sounded wonderful even before I had any idea where it was or what it was like…..something about the words “cottage by the sea” just sounds like poetry. And being from South Dakota, I’m a child of the prairie, but I’ve always had a love of the water.
Details we’re given before going – there’s a wood stove in case it gets cold at night, there’s not a store for 10-20 miles so get groceries in advance, there aren’t many people around since it’s just a tiny local fishing village, and there is no internet and no cell service (best of all) so you may want to take a book to read.
My days are filled with sunsets (only one sunrise, sadly, cuz I need some serious beauty rest these days and I’ve heard a rumor that you build bones when you sleep so I’m running with that), hot tea, a chintz-covered armchair, watching the local fishing boats each morning and evening, a bouquet of purple Lupines Brian picked for me, whale watching with my binoculars, laying on an heirloom quilt on the porch in the sun enjoying the breeze, enjoying some fresh raspberries and blueberries from the bushes in the front and back gardens and most of all keeping constant watch of the sea which is mesmerizing in all it’s changing moods and shades of blue.
I have a hot shower, my first in nearly a month – don’t worry I’ve been bathing but have been missing a good shower. I shed a few tears here and there, but not sad ones so much as tears you shed when you are sentimental, overwhelmed and grateful. These are good tears. I cry because I miss my best friend and reminisce with an afternoon of photos of True. I cry because I miss home and my family and friends, even though I am sending them all my love and I feel them sending me theirs. And I cry because I’m a little sorry for my poor leg, seeing it without its brace, still slightly bruised and swollen. These tears are part of the healing I am doing and it feels good to let them go.
I busy myself with a couple of projects, like sweeping the cabin or making a meal or doing dishes, and each one is a new lesson in balance and maneuvering with my crutches and broken leg. Each task wears me out, makes me break a sweat, and leaves me feeling a big sense of accomplishment. I’m developing a big appreciation for the small things that I can do and the small improvements I make each day.
Isak Dinesen was right.