It’s a sort of magic the way we let things go.
I walk on the beach I loved for so long, the April sand cold on my feet, a light rain misting, my boys up ahead hunting for washed up jellyfish. It’s the only place I ever felt comfortable calling home, the place that always acted as a kind of a marker for me:
This is me, twenty, afraid, shouting poetry at the waves, would anything remarkable ever happen to me?
This is me, twenty-three, in white, saying goodbye to myself and hello to forever.
This is me, a blur of ages, years piled on years, me unable to remember where one stopped and another began, children spilling after me with sandy feet and hair crusty with salt, as I pray they love as deeply as I do and see instead of look, and always be amazed.
This is me, thirty-three, able to take a moment, let the water lap against my feet and look for my dolphin in the distance, the slow mesmerizing bump of his back—up and down, a breath and submerge.
This is me now, saying goodbye—not forever, never forever—but for long enough that the only way I’m able to do it is to hate it a little for making my final trip miserable with storms and cold days and even colder nights. I’m reminded again how close they are—love and hate—two sides of the same coin. But I’m grateful for the grain of hate now. It’s like a gift from the island—hate me so that you can leave me.
It’s a sort of magic.